9% of Egyptian expats vote in first 3 days of referendum

The number raised the participation rate to 9.4 percent in the first three days of voting.

9% of Egyptian expats vote in first 3 days of referendum

World Bulletin/News Desk

Around 64,000 registered expatriate voters thus far cast ballots in the referendum on an amended version of Egypt's suspended 2012 constitution, the country's electoral commission announced.

The commission said - in a statement Saturday evening - that around 22,000 Egyptians voted in embassies and consulates abroad on Friday, the third day of the designated five-day window, which began on Wednesday, set by the commission for expatriate voting.

The number raised the participation rate to 9.4 percent in the first three days of voting.

The statement went on to say that the voting process has been running smoothly despite "minor attempts by some to disrupt the voting."

The commission noted that the Egyptian consulate filed a complaint to local authorities in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, about "inciting elements" who stood outside the consulate headquarters, telling voters the consulate was closed and so they cannot vote.

According to Egypt's Foreign Ministry, 127 embassies and 11 consulates around the world opened their doors to voters for the poll for five days, from 9am to 9pm local time, starting Wednesday.

While the number of Egyptians currently living abroad is estimated at eight million, only around 680,000 are registered to vote in national elections.

The Gulf region boasts the world's largest Egyptian expatriate population, with over 571,000 registered voters, roughly 45 percent of whom are in Saudi Arabia, according to a 2012 report by the Egyptian Electoral Commission.

This month's constitutional referendum is the first step of a transitional roadmap imposed by the military following last July's ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president.

Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2014, 11:04
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