Ministry: 450,000 Egyptian expats register to vote in presidential race

Ahram Online, Friday 30 Mar 2012

Foreign ministry official says some 450,000 Egyptians abroad have registered to vote for country's next head of state

Some 450,000 Egyptian expatriates living abroad have registered to vote in Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential poll through the Higher Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC)'s official website, a foreign ministry official announced Thursday.

"From this Saturday until 4 April at 9pm, Egyptian embassies will provide registration services to our citizens abroad," said ministry official Mohamed El-Shenawi, responsible for coordinating expatriate voting.

Egyptians overseas won the right to vote in national elections as a result of a lawsuit raised last October by political activists and expatriate campaigners. In November, Egypt’s ruling military council issued a new law regulating expat voting in parliamentary and presidential elections and in national referenda.

There are currently between 6.7 and 10 million Egyptians living and working abroad. According to the latest estimates, some 74 per cent of these work in the Gulf region, while the remainder are mostly immigrants to the United States, the EU and Australia.

Egypt's presidential election is slated for 23 and 24 May, to be followed by a runoff vote – if necessary – on 16 and 17 June. Final polling results will be announced on 21 June.

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