One of the Egyptian community in Bahrain casts his ballot at the embassy in Manama
CAIRO – 16 March 2018: Egyptian embassies in Russia, Kuwait and Bahrain have closed their doors after receiving large numbers of Egyptian expatriates during the first day of the 2018 presidential election on Friday, March 16.
Ambassador Ehab Nasr inMoscow said that the Egyptian communities were very keen to participate in the election despite the bad weather conditions, as the temperature reached 10 degrees below zero.
In statements to media outlets, Nasr expected more Egyptians to participate in the elections during the next two days until Sunday, March 18.
Earlier, Counselor Lasheen Ibrahim, head of the National Election Authority (NEA), assured that the authority has not received any complaints about the voting process abroad.
“The electoral process is going on in full swing,” Ibrahim said in a statement, adding that “the percent of the participation of Egyptian expatriates in the presidential election is good; Egyptians lined up in front of the doors of embassies and consulates to cast their votes.”
The operations room set up by the authority to follow up on the process of Egyptian expatriates voting in the presidential election indicated that voter turnout is high in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh and Jeddah, he noted.
He added that voters were also keen on casting ballots at the headquarters of the diplomatic missions in European countries.
The Egyptian embassy in New Zealand was the first to open to the electorate, given its 11-hour time difference with Cairo.
China, Japan, Russia and Indonesia followed shortly throughout the night. Due to political unrest and a worsening security situation, the elections will not take place in Libya, Syria and Yemen.
Egyptians at home are due to cast their ballots March 26-28 in the country's 27 governorates.
Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Loza previously said all foreign missions have been provided with electronic scanners so voters’ ID cards and passports can be quickly scanned, noting that the whole expatriate voting process will be monitored by surveillance cameras linked with an operations room at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He added that the Foreign Ministry held training courses for committees that will supervise voting abroad under the supervision of the NEA, as well as other procedures aimed at facilitating the highest turnout from expats.
Loza called on Egyptians abroad to participate in the presidential election, which began on March 16 and lasts for three days.
In 2017, the government estimated the number of Egyptians living abroad to be at 9.4 million.
The NEA announced on February 24 the final candidates for Egypt’s upcoming presidential election: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Moussa Moustafa Moussa, head of Al-Ghad Party.
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