No problems registered in 3-day polls: Expats in Europe



Sun, 18 Mar 2018 - 02:06 GMT


Sun, 18 Mar 2018 - 02:06 GMT

Egyptian Community in Germany after casting their votes in the 2018 presidential polls- Egypt Today

Egyptian Community in Germany after casting their votes in the 2018 presidential polls- Egypt Today

CAIRO – 18 March 2018: Egyptian communities in Europe have demonstrated their keenness to participate in the political life of Egypt as they registered a huge voter turnout in the 2018 presidential election.

In Germany, of the 77,000+ Egyptian expats living there, roughly 3,600 voters are registered to cast their votes in three ballot stations across Germany; in Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt. Yet, even though the Egyptian community in Germany exceeds 77,000, most of them are ineligible to vote because they hold foreign citizenships.

“I’m proud of being Egyptian,” said Alaa Thabet who has been living in Germany for over 20 years. Thabet has been going to the embassy on all three days of voting; describing the atmosphere at the embassy as a “ceremony of love for Egypt.”

Thabet affirmed that he didn’t face any kind of problems while casting his vote. “I cast my vote easily with no technical errors,” he added.

He revealed that previous polls had witnessed some technical and logistical problems, but the ongoing election is well-prepared and organized, adding, “The embassy’s staff has offered drinks and food to all voters…I felt I’m at home, not an official building.”

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 entire voting process for expatriates will be monitored by surveillance cameras linked with an operations room at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“I cast my ballot on the first day of the voting, Friday, although it was a working day in Germany,” said Mona Ali who has been living in Berlin for many years.

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Mona was chosen as the "2018 Model Mother" by a Cultural Salon managed and chaired by well-known surgeon Gamal Moustafa Saeed.

“Unlike previous polls, voting went smoothly with the new passport scanners used at the consulate in Marseilles,” said journalist Khaled Shokair.

Shokair is one of the active members of the Egyptian community in France. He praised the efforts exerted by the Egyptian diplomatic mission in France to ease and assist the voters during casting their ballots throughout the election.

“I’d like to thank the Egyptian Embassy’s media counselor Rasha Ali for the sincere efforts she has been exerting to support the Egyptian community in France during the 2018 presidential polls,” Shokair added.

Maram el-Sobky, an Egyptian expat living in Paris, saw another Egyptian expat crying because she was not registered as an eligible voter in the polls. “This shows that voting is done freely and willingly,” Maram added.

In 2017, the government estimated the number of Egyptians living abroad to be 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.

The 2018 presidential election takes place in 139 foreign embassies and consulates in 124 foreign countries for three days. Due to political unrest and a worsening security situation, the elections would not take place in Yemen, Syria and Libya.

The government and media outlets in Egypt have urged voters to head to the polls on the second day of the country's presidential election, amid a sign of a higher-than-expected turnout in the balloting.

Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote between March 16 and 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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