In a statement issued Thursday, the grand mufti asserted that voting in democratic elections is a national duty prompted by a strong love and sense of belonging to our country to foil attempts or conspiracies intrigued by any evil power to hinder the process of development.

He highlighted the importance of having all Egyptians stand shoulder-to-shoulder in support of their country's democratic process and advancing the interest of their homeland, the statement said.

The grand mufti noted that Egypt has gone through many difficult times and was able to overcome all hardships, it added.

"Thanks to the people's solidarity and wise political leadership under the rule of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the country has successfully trodden the path towards construction and development" said the mufti in the statement.

The first phase of parliamentary elections for Egyptians living abroad kicked off Monday.

The vote allows voters living abroad to cast their ballot papers on line (via express mail) on the National Elections Authority website in order to resend them to embassies and diplomatic missions in different countries during voting days