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Egyptian Expatriates Cast Ballots for 2024 Presidential Elections

Around 14 million Egyptian expatriates are expected to cast their ballots in the 2024 presidential elections from Friday, 1 December to Sunday, 3 December, from 9 am to 9 pm per the local time at the headquarters of the country’s embassies and consulates worldwide.

Citizens living in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have recorded the highest voting rates, followed by Egyptians in the UAE and Qatar.

Egyptian voters abroad require a valid passport or a valid or invalid national ID card to vote. Citizens aged 18 or above are eligible to vote. Eligible voters inside and outside the country surpassed 65 million.

The elections will take place locally from 10 -12 December. The final result will be released on 18 December if no run-off is required.

Other than incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Farid Zahran, head of the opposition Social Democratic Party, Abdel-Sanad Yamama, head of the country’s oldest liberal party Al-Wafd, and Hazem Omar, head of the People’s Republican Party will run for the country’s most prestigious political post.

Every rival has been given an electoral symbol. Sisi, already seeking a third term in office, chose the star, while Zahran selected the sun, Yamama picked the palm tree, and Omar got the sign of the ladder.

Two presidential hopefuls had earlier withdrawn from the race for not meeting the required conditions, including Ahmed Tantawi, ex-MP and journalist, and Gameela Ismail, the Al-Dostour party chairwoman and a former journalist.

Tantawi was referred to a criminal trial last month for allegedly circulating unauthorised printed endorsement forms for the elections, among other charges, in addition to his electoral campaign manager and 21 other campaigners detained earlier.

The elections are not expected to be free or fair as previous polls have given improbable majorities for Sisi and have been marked by the arrest of rival candidates.

According to data documented by the “Dialogue Forum for Development and Human Rights,” the number of voters abroad in the 2012 presidential elections was around 314,000.

The number of those voting abroad increased slightly in 2014 to over 318,000 before it declined in the 2018 elections to just over 157,000 votes.

This year’s election coincides with severe socio-economic instability, economic mismanagement, and ongoing corruption issues in Egypt.

The Egyptian local currency has long been struggling against the US dollar due to controversial economic measures taken by the government.

Over the past months, the Egyptian government has begun selling state assets to wealthy Gulf nations, including army-owned firms, to attract foreign currency and liberate the economy from state control, a significant demand of the US$3 million loan programme signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The situation has been exacerbated by alleged corruption and an eight-year borrowing spree, which has seen the state spend money on “white elephant” projects such as the New Administrative Capital.

Source: The New Arab