World Bulletin / News Desk
Final results of voting by Egyptian expatriates in the referendum on the amended version of the 2012 constitution showed that only 15.1 percent of registered voters outside Egypt cast their ballots, Egypt's election commission said on Monday.
However, 95 percent of those who voted approved the draft, the commission said.
Around 681,000 Egyptians had the right to cast their votes in the referendum in Egypt's embassies and consulates around the world over the past five days.
Only 103,000 people, however, voted in the referendum, the commission said.
This is almost half of the number of expatriates who voted on the 2012 constitution when 246,767 people voted in the referendum outside Egypt, even as only 586,491 voters were registered for the vote outside this country then.
In 2012, 160,000 Egyptian expatriates approved the constitution, while 83,676 rejected it, according to the election commission following the 2012 referendum.
Commission spokesman, Hisham Mukhtar, said on Monday that the low turnout in the referendum boiled down to the fact that the commission had banned voting via regular mail and email.
He said in 2012, only 92,000 people cared to attend in person to cast their ballots at polling stations outside Egypt, but in 2014, 103,000 people showed up at the polling stations to cast their votes.
Voting in the referendum outside Egypt started on Wednesday and lasted until Sunday.
The voting process inside Egypt is due to start on Tuesday and last until Wednesday. The government has taken unprecedented security measures to secure the vote, including the deployment of hundreds of thousands of army personnel and policemen around polling stations in Egypt's 27 provinces.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Loza said the government will seek to raise the number of registered voters outside Egypt to a million by encouraging Egyptian expatriates to issue national identification cards.
The referendum on the constitution is one of three important points in a transitional roadmap imposed by the army upon the July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi. The roadmap also includes presidential and parliamentary elections, the dates of which have not yet been decided.
Egypt's pro-democracy National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy on Sunday called for boycotting the plebiscite and urged Egyptians to join mass protests against the charter as of Monday.Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2014, 15:23