Egyptians flock to polls in Australia on 2nd day of election

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Fri, 16 Mar 2018 - 10:34 GMT

Egyptian expats cast their votes in the presidential election in Sydney - Egypt Today

Egyptian expats cast their votes in the presidential election in Sydney - Egypt Today

CAIRO – 17 March 2018: Egyptian expats voting in the presidential election flocked to cast their ballots on the second day in Australia, the second country to see voting.

Earlier, the Egyptian embassy in New Zealand opened its doors for the second day at 10 p.m. (Cairo time) on Friday. Consulates and embassies across the world were to officially open their doors Saturday at 9 a.m. local time in each country. The Egyptian embassy in New Zealand was the first to open to the electorate, given the 11-hour time difference with Cairo.

On Friday, March 16, which marked the first day of the election, Bishop Sorial was the first Egyptian to cast his ballot at the Egyptian embassy in Canberra, capital of Australia, which opened its doors for expatriates at 12 a.m. (Cairo time).

Other countries, including China, Japan, Russia and Indonesia, are expected to follow shortly throughout the night, same as the first day. However, more Egyptians are expected to participate on Saturday, March 17, according to statements by Egypt’s ambassadors and diplomats to media outlets.

Egypt’s ambassador in Canada, Moataz Zahran, expects a noticeable increase in the numbers of voters on Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18. He added in statements to Egypt Today on Friday that due to the first day of the election not being an official holiday in Canada, most of the Egyptians were not able to participate and come to the embassy to cast their ballots; however, the chance could be higher on Saturday and Sunday.

Zahran added that the first day’s numbers were not low, as many Egyptians were keen to show up during the first hours on Friday morning.

Earlier, Counselor Lasheen Ibrahim, head of the National Election Authority (NEA), assured that the authority has not received any complaints about the voting process abroad.

“The electoral process is going on in full swing,” Ibrahim said in a statement, adding that “the percent of the participation of Egyptian expatriates in the presidential election is good; Egyptians lined up in front of the doors of embassies and consulates to cast their votes.”

The operations room set up by the authority to follow up on the process of Egyptian expatriates voting in the election indicated that voter turnout is high in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh and Jeddah, he noted.

He added that voters were also keen on casting ballots at the headquarters of the diplomatic missions in European countries.

The Egyptian embassy in New Zealand was the first to open to the electorate, given its 11-hour time difference with Cairo. China, Japan, Russia and Indonesia followed shortly after.

Due to political unrest and a worsening security situation, the elections will not take place in Libya, Syria and Yemen.

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

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