Voters queues show Egyptians’ patriotism: Consul in Los Angeles

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Sat, 17 Mar 2018 - 10:34 GMT

Egyptian expatriates at Egyptian embassy in New York to vote in the presidential election - Egypt Today

Egyptian expatriates at Egyptian embassy in New York to vote in the presidential election - Egypt Today

CAIRO – 17 March 2018: “The Egyptian consulate in Los Angeles saw many Egyptians coming from various states to cast their ballots in the first voting day of the 2018 presidential election,” Egyptian General Consul to the U.S. Lamia Mekhamair said Friday.

Mekhaimar stressed to the American Pulse TV program that Egyptian expatriates’ huge turnout in the first day expresses their high sense of patriotic duty, adding that “Egyptians arrived so early at the consulate’s headquarters on Friday to cast their votes, although Friday is a working day.”

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Egyptian expatriates at Egyptian embassy in New York to vote in the presidential election - Egypt Today

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Egyptian expatriates at Egyptian embassy in New York to vote in the presidential election - Egypt Today

“Los Angeles will be the last ballot station to close its doors and conclude the election on Sunday due to the time differences,” said Mekhamair.

Egyptian expatriates worldwide visited 139 polling stations early Saturday in embassies and consulates to cast their ballots in the second day of the 2018 presidential election, which is scheduled to last until Sunday.

The National Elections Authority (NEA) held a press conference on Friday to review the progress of the electoral process that commenced yesterday for overseas Egyptian voters.

The NEA spokesperson, Mahmoud El Sherif, who also serves as the deputy head of the authority, said that Egyptian embassies abroad witnessed a huge turnout from each country's Egyptian community.

He added that the NEA has not been informed of any obstacles facing voters abroad while casting their ballots, even in Turkey and Qatar, and expressed the authority’s full readiness to address any issues in this regard.

“It is not a must for any Egyptian living abroad to obtain a residency permit to be allowed to cast his/her ballot,” Sherif affirmed.

"Percentage of voter turnout will be announced by the end of the electoral process abroad," he added.

The Egyptian embassies in New Zealand and Australia inaugurated earlier the second day of voting in the presidential election on Friday at 10 p.m. (Cairo time), while consulates and embassies across the world were to officially open their doors Saturday at 9 a.m. local time in each country.

The government and media outlets in Egypt have urged voters to head to 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 witnessed thousands of Egyptians lining up to cast ballots across the world in a vote that will determine 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 Yemen, Syria and Libya.

Egyptians at home are due to cast their ballots in the country's 27 governorates beginning March 26 until 28.

The 2018 presidential election takes place in 139 foreign embassies and consulates in 124 foreign countries for three days.

Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister 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 Affairs Ministry.

In 2017 the government estimated the number of Egyptians living abroad at 9.4 million.

The National Election Authority (NEA), headed by counselor Lashen Ibrahim, announced on February 24 the final list for Egypt’s upcoming presidential election including President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Moussa Moustafa Moussa, Head of al-Ghad Party.

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.

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.

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