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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - CAIRO — Voting by Egyptians abroad for electing a president ended on Monday, the national electoral commission declared.
The first phase of voting that lasted for three days concluded at Egyptian missions' buildings abroad and the ballots were counted, verified and transferred to the electoral commission via the Foreign Ministry, it said.
The counted votes of the Egyptians abroad would be added to the ballots of the citizens who would head to the polls to elect a new president next week, the commission said.
It affirmed that the voting outside Egypt was conducted at 137 centers in 121 states. Voting in Egypt is due on Dec. 10-14.
The race to the top post involves the incumbent president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, leader of the Democratic Party Farid Zahran, chief of Al-Wafd Party Abdel Sanad Yamama and head of the Republic People's Party Hazem Omar.
Around 14 million Egyptian expatriates cast their ballots in the 2024 presidential elections from Friday, Dec. 1 to Sunday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. per the local time at the headquarters of the country's embassies and consulates worldwide.
Citizens living in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have recorded the highest voting rates, followed by Egyptians in the UAE and Qatar.
Egyptian voters abroad require a valid passport or a valid or invalid national ID card to vote. Citizens aged 18 or above are eligible to vote. Eligible voters inside and outside the country surpassed 65 million.
Four candidates announced for Egypt's presidential race. Every rival has been given an electoral symbol. El-Sisi, already seeking a third term in office, chose the star, while Zahran selected the sun, Yamama picked the palm tree, and Omar got the sign of the ladder.
Two presidential hopefuls had earlier withdrawn from the race for not meeting the required conditions, including Ahmed Tantawi, ex-MP and journalist, and Gameela Ismail, the Al-Dostour party chairwoman and a former journalist.
Tantawi was referred to a criminal trial last month for allegedly circulating unauthorized printed endorsement forms for the elections, among other charges, in addition to his electoral campaign manager and 21 other campaigners detained earlier.
The number of those voting abroad increased slightly in 2014 to over 318,000 before it declined in the 2018 elections to just over 157,000 votes.
This year's election coincides with severe socio-economic instability, economic mismanagement, and ongoing corruption issues in Egypt.
The Egyptian local currency has long been struggling against the US dollar due to controversial economic measures taken by the government.
El-Sisi's re-election campaign announced on Saturday he had received the backing of 424 members of 596-seat lower house of the country's parliament for his bid for a third term in office.
Egypt will hold a presidential election over three days on Dec. 10-12, with a runoff on Jan. 8-10 if no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote. — Agencies
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