2018 presidential election - photo combined by Egypt Today/Mohamed Ezat
CAIRO – 16 March 2018: For the second day in a row, the Egyptian embassy in New Zealand opened its doors on Friday at 10pm (Cairo time) for expatriates to cast ballots in the 2018 presidential election scheduled to last until Sunday.
Consulates and embassies across the world were to officially open their doors Saturday at 9am local time in each country.
The Egyptian embassy in New Zealand was the first to open to the electorate, given an 11 hour time difference with Cairo.
A voting committee was formed at the Egyptian embassy in Wellington, capital of New Zealand, headed by Ambassador Tarek Mohy El-Din Al Waseemi and the membership of Counselor Sameh Farouk Shehata. The committee's secretaries include the administrative attachés Maged Fawzi Khalil and Manar Abdel Khalek.
Australia, China, Japan, Russia and Indonesia would follow shortly throughout the night.
The government and media outlets in Egypt have urged voters to head the polls on the second of the country's presidential election, amid a sign of a higher-than-expected turnout in the balloting.
Election monitors said Friday's polling was as thousands of Egyptians lined up to cast ballots across the world in a vote that will produce the country's elected president for the coming four years.
Due to political unrest and a worsening security situation, the elections would not take place in three countries: Yemen, Syria and Libya.
Egyptians at home are due on March 26-28 to cast their ballots in the country's 27 governorates.
Egyptian Foreign Minister's Deputy Hamdi Loza said previously that 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 foreign ministry.
He added that the foreign ministry held training courses for committees that will supervise voting abroad under the supervision of the National Elections Authority (NEA), as well as other procedures aimed at facilitating the highest turnout from expats.
Loza called on Egyptians abroad to participate in the presidential elections, which will begin on March 16 and last for three days.
In 2017 the government estimated the number of Egyptians living abroad at 9.4 million.
The National Election Authority (NEA), headed by counselor Lashin Ibrahim, announced on February 24 the final list for Egypt’s upcoming presidential election including President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Moussa Moustafa Moussa, Head of al-Ghad Party.
Sisi, whose current presidential term will end in June, had won the 2014 presidential elections in a two-man race with nearly 97 percent of the vote.
Many observers and analysts favor Sisi in the current elections. According to the constitution, presidents may serve a maximum of two terms.
Sisi showed his intention to run for president during his closing speech at the end of the three-day “Tale of a Homeland” conference, where the president and the Egyptian government presented an overview of the projects and achievements made in different fields during the last four years.
On his official Twitter account, Sisi called on the Egyptian people to participate intensively in the upcoming election and give their votes to whomever they see most eligible.
Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election on March 26-28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote on March 16-18 at 139 polling stations located in embassies and consulates of 124 countries, said Ibrahim in a press conference.
Egyptian citizens have the right to vote starting 18 years of age. Article 2 of the political rights law (Law 45/2014) bans from voting those who suffer from mental disorders or are under judicial interdiction, or who have been convicted of a felony.
Active members of the Armed Forces and police are not allowed to vote unless they leave the service or retire.
The primary results of the first round of the election will be announced on March 29, where decisions on appeals submitted by candidates, if any, will be made.
The final results of the first round will be announced on April 2.