(MENAFN - Arab News) Egyptian expatriates in the kingdom the largest grouping of citizens abroad are set to vote in their country's presidential elections from may 15 to 19.
to encourage people to make their mark the egyptian elections commission now allows citizens to vote using either their passports or national identity cards. a valid saudi residence permit is not necessary said mustafa abdul jawad from the egyptian embassy on monday.
regular consular services would not be available in jeddah and riyadh once voting starts according to officials. voting stations would be open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. said jawad.
jawad said there would likely be a greater turnout because the polls would be open for four days and after working hours. he expects many citizens to vote on friday and saturday.
he said citizens could check whether they are eligible to vote by logging onto www.elections.eg and entering their national identification or machine-readable passport numbers.
voting will take place electronically for the first time he said. the system would prevent people fraudulently voting in the kingdom and then at home because it is linked to a central database in cairo.
voting in egypt takes place from may 26.
according to egyptian sources the expatriate community is less enthusiastic about voting in these elections.
presidential candidate hamdeen sabahi has been urging expatriates to cast their votes in large numbers to show their loyalty to the country.
former army chief abdel fatah al-sisi is expected to win by a landslide according to egyptian expatriates.
this will be the first presidential elections since the overthrow of muhammad mursi on july 3 last year. mursi took office on june 30 2012 and is considered the first democratically elected president in the country's history.