NEA holds press conference after 1st day of 2018 polls

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Mon, 26 Mar 2018 - 09:10 GMT

File-The NEA spokesperson Mahmoud El Sherif

File-The NEA spokesperson Mahmoud El Sherif

CAIRO – 26 March 2018: The National Elections Authority (NEA) held a press conference on Monday to review the progress of the electoral process that commenced early today for Egyptian voters at home and will last for three consecutive days.

The NEA spokesperson Mahmoud El Sherif, who also serves as the deputy head of the NEA, extended his appreciation and respect for all voters who casted their ballots on the first day of presidential election nationwide, urging the Egyptian people to perform their electoral right.

El Sherif said that the NEA’s operation room has received hundreds of complaints and inquiries along the first day of voting, adding that they dealt effectively with all the complaints through active communication with the subcommittees.

He pointed out that the NEA has not been informed of any obstacles or problems facing the supervisiors of the polling stations, except three cases of judges who suffered some illness and were replaced immediately without affecting the election process.

El Sherif extended his condolences to the family of a voter who passed away after he casted his ballot in Sohag governorate, Upper Egypt.

During the press conference, a journalist asked the NEA spokesperson about the authority’s procedures to check female voters who were niqab. El Sherif replied that the NEA deployed a female official at each polling station to check those women wearing niqab.

Regarding media reports that Egyptian actor Hussein Fahmy has casted his voted twice in the UAE and inside Egypt, El Sherif asserted that it is impossible for any voter to cast his ballot more than once because the NEA systematically removed the names of those who voted abroad from the voter database after the end of polls outside Egypt.

El Sherif stressed that all Egyptians who are above the age of 18 have the right to vote, while Active members of the Armed Forces and police are not allowed to vote. He noted that 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.

He pointed out that the NEA has not been informed of any violation to the electoral silence period which started two days ahead of the polls.

A journalist asked El Sherif if the NEA has allocated special polling stations for the people who are held in custody at police stations or prisons. El Sherif replied that the authority has contacted the ministry of interior ahead of the polls to provide a suitable mechanism to allow voting at prisons.

The NEA spokesperson praised the high voter turnout witnessed in the border governorates, especially the North Sinai, stressing that the security issues and boycott calls have failed today to prevent the Egyptians from performing their political rights.

He noted that the most governorates with high voter turnout are Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Sharqia and the North Sinai.

El Sherif said the NEA’s next conference will be tomorrow at 3pm.

About 60 million Egyptians are eligible to vote in the ongoing polls to elect the country’s next president, in a race pitting the incumbent president Abdel Fatah Al Sisi against El Ghad party chairperson Moussa Moustafa Moussa.

Voting shall be conducted for three days on March 26-28. Polls will be opened over a twelve-hour period, from 9am till 9pm (local time).

Voter can find their electoral committees through the official website of the National Election Authority (NEA). (https://www.elections.eg/home)

According to the NEA, the presidential election will be supervised by 18,620 judges (primary and substitute), including 8,420 regular judges, 4,800 administrative prosecutors, 3,300 judges from State Lawsuits Authority and 2,100 judges from State Council.

A number of regional and international organizations will participate in observing the presidential election nationwide. These organizations include the Arab League (AL), African Union (AU), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly and COMESA-CENSAD.

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. If there is a need to hold a run-off round, the Egyptian expats will cast their vote again on April 19-21. The final 2018 presidential election results are expected to be announced on May 1.

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