Preliminary results from 113 polling stations around the world indicate that former defence minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will claim a landslide victory over Nasserist Hamdeen Sabahy in the expatriate portion of the presidential elections.
The collated results show that Al-Sisi has claimed 92.5% of the ballots cast, Sabahy won 5.98%, and 1.5% of ballots were invalid. The preliminary turnout figure from the 114 polling stations was 225,299, although the final turnout is approximately 315,000, according to the foreign ministry.
The first results came in from Australia, where 4,849 people cast their vote over five days, a period that was extended by the Presidential Elections Committee on Saturday from the original four days due to “high turnout”. 4,672 Egyptians voted for Al-Sisi in Australia in three polling stations, compared to 146 for Sabahy, and 32 votes cast were ruled to be invalid.
Sabahy garnered 9.3% of the 4,634 votes in London, the only polling station in Britain, 18% of 244 votes in Turkey, 19.35% of 62 votes in Seoul, South Korea, and 20.5% of 258 votes in Spain, which are his strongest performances from the preliminary results.
Al-Sisi won the vote in Turkey with 76% of the vote, one of the smaller margins of victory from the preliminary results.
The largest expatriate turnout from the preliminary results came from Saudi Arabia, where 76,609 Egyptians cast their ballots, handing Al-Sisi 91.7% of the vote compared to Sabahy, who received 6.8%.
Preliminary results from much of the Western Hemisphere, including five locations around the United States, were yet to be announced at the time of writing.
The expected turnout figure is higher than that of the first and second rounds of the 2012 presidential elections, which were 311,875 and 306,812 respectively.
Ahead of the polls the foreign ministry amended the regulations for Egyptians voting abroad by removing the need to register in advance. Those registered in previous elections remained able to vote, but others who had not registered could do so by presenting their national identification card or an Egyptian passport. The postal vote system was also not used, as was the case for the January 2014 constitutional referendum.
As a result of the eased regulations, it is not possible to gain an accurate turnout rate as there is no official number of registered voters.
Supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi are expected to boycott the election and protests were witnessed outside the embassies in London and Sydney during the five days of voting abroad.
Ihab Kandil, a 22 year-old student in Ottawa, Canada, said his visiting parents benefitted from the new system as they were not required to register before and were able to do so by presenting their passports. However, Kandil said: “A couple of my friends living in cities like Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver who voted in the past via mail and couldn’t vote this time around even though they wanted to.”
25 year-old Mohamed Sharkawi travelled for five hours to cast his vote in the Netherlands, where the only polling station was in The Hague. He said his father and younger brother refused to make the trip, adding: “Because of this reason, Sabahy lost two votes in Holland.” He and his family would have preferred a postal vote, he said.
Sharkawi voted for Sabahy, one of 1,367 Egyptians in the Netherlands to do so, as he did in the first round of the 2012 presidential election. He said: “I decided not to vote for Sisi because he has no vision and electoral programme for the country. I also refuse to give my vote to someone who is not confident in himself.” He was critical of Al-Sisi’s campaigning, especially the decision not to participate in a live debate with Sabahy: “I also believe a presidential candidate should appear live on TV during an interview and not in a pre-recorded and edited interview.”
Official results for the expatriate vote will be announced by the Presidential Elections Committee following two days of voting inside Egypt on 26 and 27 May. Al-Sisi has been tipped to be the victor due to the popular support he has amassed since Morsi’s ouster in July 2013.