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MENAFN - Arab News - 15/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) The egyptian embassy in riyadh and the consulate general in jeddah will allow egyptian expatriates to cast their votes for the presidential election from thursday.

contesting candidates in the election are abdul fattah el-sissi and hamdeen sabahi.

'regular operations at the consulate with the exception of emergency cases will be suspended during the four voting days in order to provide voters with an election environment while staff will be assigned election duties" consul-general adel el-alfy told arab news.

'voting will begin at 9 a.m. and will close at 9 p.m. in order to enable egyptian citizens to cast their votes even after their normal working hours and also to facilitate the participation of expats who are outside the two cities" he said.

voters must bring along magnetized passports and national identity cards in order to be eligible to vote.

turnout figures are expected to double from last year's estimated 311000 expat voters in the kingdom according to egyptian foreign ministry records.

the kingdom's voters also account for more than 50 percent of the total number of egyptians registered for voting at all egyptian foreign missions.

el-alfy affirmed that the decision of the presidential election commission to cancel the condition of advance registration for those working in foreign countries would undoubtedly increase the number of voters significantly.

'canceling advance registration enables any qualified egyptian voter outside the country to proceed to the nearest mission and cast his vote provided he fulfills the other conditions" the diplomat said.

ali al-ashiri former egyptian ambassador to saudi arabia and assistant to the foreign minister for consular affairs said the election commission sent 180 electronic readers to countries including the kingdom and other gulf states where egyptian expatriates work in large numbers in order to transfer the details of voters instantly to commission's information center for verification.

mustafa al-qanawi an egyptian accountant working in jeddah told arab news 'i must cast my vote since i strongly believe that elections are the key to the development of democratic process in egypt."

other egyptian expats however are not as enthusiastic.

amr al-shaimi an egyptian pharmacist in jeddah said he is not enthusiastic about participating in the election because he had voted several times before but felt that elections were of no use in the wake of negative political developments.

'even if i fully realize the need for stability in my country i am not voting this time because i have a feeling that my vote is not respected and has no value" he said.


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