No polling stations for Egyptians abroad in Libya, Syria, Somalia

Basil El-Dabh
3 Min Read

The security situations in Libya, Somalia and Syria have prevented the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC) from establishing places for Egyptians to vote in those countries in upcoming elections, announced the commission’s secretary general Abdel Aziz Salman.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the PEC had both previously announced that they had begun coordinating to prepare for upcoming presidential elections with the participation of Egyptians living abroad.

On Tuesday, Salman added that the number of polling stations abroad had been increased for countries that have many Egyptians, including Germany, Turkey and China, according to state-owned MENA. Some, he said, had been combined, including the polling station for the Vatican, which will be combined with the Rome-based polling station.

The secretary general of the elections body also said that elections inside the country would take place with full judicial supervision, while polls abroad would be supervised by ambassadors and consuls.

The Supreme Electoral Commission in cooperation with the foreign ministry had also signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Union and Arab League regarding the process of voting abroad for Egyptians, according to Salman.

He also said the PEC is beginning to work with civil society organisations that seek to monitor the presidential poll.

Salman added that the total number of voters in the upcoming presidential elections would consist of roughly 53,309,000 voters both domestically and abroad.

Presidential hopefuls Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahy and former Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi have begun collecting signatures. Earlier this week lawyer and president of Al-Zamalek Sporting Club Mortada Mansour also announced his intentions to run for president.

According to the newly issued presidential elections law, candidates must be at least 40 years old, born to Egyptian parents and have received a higher education. Nominees, their spouses and their parents must have never held the citizenship of another country.

Each candidate must submit a list of documents to the PEC proving that he or she meets the qualifications and provide a financial disclosure.

Each candidate must also collect at least 25,000 signatures across at least 15 governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 signatures from each of those governorates.  In future elections, if the country has a parliament, candidates will be able to qualify by receiving the endorsement of at least 20 members of the House of Representatives as an alternative to collecting the 25,000 signatures.

Polls inside Egypt will open on 26 May for two days. A second round would take place on 16 and 17 June. The PEC also said that first round results would be announced on 5 June, while the official second round results would be revealed on 26 June.

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