Egyptian expats kick off presidential vote

Egyptian expats kick off presidential vote

Egyptian expats will kick off the country's presidential election as more than 140 overseas polling stations open on Thursday, Al Arabiya reported.

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.

The commission said in a televised statement on Wednesday that additional polling stations were opened in countries with more Egyptian expatriates.

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 largest expat Egyptian community is based in Saudi Arabia, news website Ahram Online reported.

Voters are required to register their names in voter lists using their national IDs or passports, the committee said.

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.

The four-day expat vote ends on May 18.

The presidential vote is scheduled to open at home on 26-27 May.

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