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Voting for Egyptian expatriates in presidential elections begins Friday

Published: Updated:

Voting in Egypt's presidential elections for Egyptian expatriates begins on Friday morning.

The voting committees in the embassies of Egypt abroad will open their doors at 10:00 am on Friday for a period of three days, according to the National Elections Commission the days announced are March 16, 17 and 18 to choose one of the candidates for the presidency.

The candidates are President Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi, represented by the star symbol and candidate Mousa Mustafa Mousa, head of Al Ghad Party using the plane icon.

The voting takes place in 139 committees in 124 countries abroad, at the headquarters of 123 embassies and 16 Egyptian consulates under the supervision of 714 Egyptian diplomats.

The National Elections Commission decided to cancel the voting in four countries - Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia - for security reasons and to protect the lives of Egyptians living there.

Egyptian voting is due to start at home on March 26, 27 and 28.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday his government had fulfilled its promises during his first term and called on Egyptians to vote in large numbers in an election where he is seeking a second term in office.

The former army chief is widely expected to win by a huge margin in the March 26-28 vote, since his only challenger leads a party that supports the Egyptian president.

Neither candidate has done much campaigning, appealing instead for a high turnout to give the victor a strong mandate.

Sisi won nearly 97 percent of the vote in 2014, but less than half of eligible Egyptians voted even though the election was extended to three days.

"If (all Egyptians) vote and a third say 'No', that would be a lot better than if half that number turn out and all of them say 'Yes'," Sisi said during a visit to the Interior Ministry.

Sisi also told a conference of military officers and relatives of soldiers killed in action that his first four years in office had brought stability and security to the country.

Egypt's security forces last month launched an all-out offensive against militants, deploying tens of thousands of troops and police backed by fighter-jets, helicopter gunships, navy vessels and tanks in Sinai and in the western desert along the border with Libya.

(With Reuters & AP)