The participation rate of Egyptian women expats in the 2018 presidential election, where President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is running for a second term against politician Moussa Moustafa Moussa, is unprecedented.
A huge number of female Egyptian expats living abroad lined up in front of embassies abroad to participate in the election and cast their votes.
Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram asserted the importance and influential role of Egyptian women in the Egyptian elections and their ability to lead the Egyptian crowd for their presidential elections.
By the end of 2017, Egypt has put the spotlight on the role of Egyptian women abroad; female Egyptian expats have significant power to reflect Egypt’s image to the international community, Makram said.
“Egypt Can (Taa Marbouta)” conference was held in Cairo on July 2-3, 2017, under the auspices of al-Sisi and in cooperation with the National Council for Women (NCW), as an example of the efforts to empower Egyptian women.
A number of female Egyptian experts living abroad participated in the conference, which comes in conjunction with Sisi’s announcement that 2017 is the “year of Egyptian women” and the national initiative to empower Egyptian women.
The Egyptian embassy in New Zealand was the first to open to the electorate, given an 11-hour time difference with Cairo.
China, Japan, Russia and Indonesia followed shortly throughout the night. Other embassies are expecting to follow during the coming hours.
Due to political unrest and a worsening security situation, voting will not take place in Libya, Syria and Yemen.
The National Elections Authority (NEA) held a press conference on Friday to review the progress of the electoral process that commenced earlier today for overseas Egyptian voters and will last for three consecutive days.
NEA spokesperson Mahmoud El Sherif, who also serves as the deputy head of the NEA, Egyptian embassies abroad witnessed a huge turnout from each country’s respective Egyptian community.
It is not a must for Egyptians abroad to have a residency permit to be allowed to cast their ballot, Sherif added. “The percentage of the voter turnout will be announced by the end of the electoral process abroad.”
He also added that the voting process is currently taking place across 118 countries, stating that the NEA has provided the polling stations abroad with additional laptops because of the huge turnout.
The NEA has not been informed of any obstacles facing voters abroad while casting their ballots and expressed its full readiness to address any issues in this regard.
In 2017, the government estimated the number of Egyptians living abroad to be at 9.4 million.
The NEA, headed by counselor Lashen Ibrahim, announced on February 24 the final candidates for Egypt’s upcoming presidential election: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Moussa Moustafa Moussa, head of Al-Ghad party.
Sisi showed his intention to run for president during his closing speech at the end of the three-day “Tale of a Homeland” conference, where he and the Egyptian government presented an overview of the projects and achievements made in different fields during the past four years.
On his official Twitter account, Sisi called on the Egyptian people to participate intensively in the upcoming election and give their votes to whomever they see as the most eligible.
Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election on March 26-28 in Egypt, while expatriates will vote between Friday and March 18 at 139 polling stations located in embassies and consulates across 124 countries.
The primary results of the first round of the election will be announced on March 29, where decisions on appeals submitted by candidates, if any, will be made.
The final results of the first round will be announced on April 2.