Violations alleged in Egyptian expat vote in Saudi Arabia; SPEC delays announcement of results

Ahram Online , Tuesday 22 May 2012

Following reported violations in Saudi Arabia presidential voting - which makes up 50% of expat electorate - the elections commission delays announcing final results, to the objection of Morsi campaigners

voting in Egypt's Parliamentary Elections, November 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

The Supreme Presidential Elections Commission (SPEC) decided on Monday to refrain from announcing the final vote count of Egyptian expatriates in Saudi Arabia.

The commission announced its reservations over the results collected from the Riyadh and Jeddah consulates following complaints by campaign representatives of presidential contenders, Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Khaled Ali. Both claim their supporters were obstructed from voting.

The campaign representative of candidate Mohamed Morsi, expected to win a majority vote in Saudi Arabia, objected to the decision by the SPEC to delay announcing the final results.  

SPEC Secretary-General Hatem Bagato explained late Monday that in light of the reported violations by the Riyadh and Jeddah electoral committees, the final result could not be announced. He stressed the importance of receiving the necessary documents detailing these reported infringements so an investigation could be carried out.

The commission has called on the Egyptian foreign ministry to present it with all the necessary documents as soon as possible, as the final results are expected to be announced for the first round of elections on 29 May.

There are between 6.7 million and 10 million Egyptians living and working abroad, according to the latest estimates. Of those, approximately 587,000 around the world have registered to vote in Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential elections. Over 50 per cent of them (300,000) live in Saudi Arabia.

Registered voters will be choosing between 13 approved candidates in more than 166 Egyptian consulates abroad.

Egypt’s presidential poll is slated for 23-24 May, with a runoff vote to be held 16-17 June in the event that no single candidate wins an outright majority.

The president will be formally named on 21 June. 

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