Egyptian expat voter numbers exceed 265,000
Monday is the third and last day for expat voting as voting inside Egypt will take place on 26-27 May
More than 265,000 expats have voted in the presidential election at embassies across the world, Egypt’s foreign ministry announced on Sunday.
The preliminary number was counted from Thursday up until Sunday at 5:30 p.m., a spokesman said, adding that the turnout so far is almost double that of January's constitutional referendum.
Monday is the third and last day for expat voting as voting inside Egypt will take place on 26-27 May.
Egyptian expatriates in more than 140 countries are casting their ballots.
The country’s Presidential Election Committee urged Egyptians abroad to participate in the vote, which sees former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Leftist leader Hamdeen Sabahi run for Cairo’s top post.
Nearly 6-8 million Egyptians live abroad, according to estimated official figures. But only 600,000 expats have registered to vote in the presidential elections.
The polls represent a milestone in the political roadmap set by the military-backed authorities following the ouster of President Mohammad Mursi last July.
Sisi, who orchestrated the military overthrow of Mursi, is widely expected to garner the highest amount of votes.
EU to monitor polls
Meanwhile, the European Union said Monday it will observe next week's presidential election in Egypt after authorities allowed in communications equipment, two days after announcing the mission had been scrapped.
The EU, which had accepted an invitation from the military-installed authorities to monitor the May 26-27 election, had said on Saturday it would be unable to do its job after Egyptian customs held up the equipment.
"The European Union observer mission is able to continue (its mission). However, it will have to make adjustments," Mario David, the head of the EU observer mission, told reporters in Cairo.
A team of 45 observers was already in Cairo and would soon deploy across the country, said the EU parliamentarian from Portugal.