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Friday, January 10, 2014

Egypt: National referendum on the amended Constitution has started with Egyptians living abroad casting their votes

Egyptian Constitution
National referendum on the recently amended Constitution was set to be held in Egypt on 14-15 January since 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. Egyptian expats though have already started casting their votes as the voting process for the Egyptian citizens living abroad has started on 8 January and will last till 12 January.

It’s worth mentioning that Egyptian expats have received the right to vote during the referendums and elections only after January 25th Revolution 2011. However, while Egyptian expats could vote via e-mails, this year they should appear at the embassies and consulates in order to cast their voices. Embassies have received recommendations to coordinate their work during the polls with the local governments in order to guarantee safe, transparent and secure voting process.

The number of Egyptian expats eligible to vote during this Constitutional Referendum is 681,346 persons in 161 countries all over the world, according to Egypt’s High Electoral Committee. Nearly half of the voters are based in Saudi Arabia.

According to the reports of Egyptian consulates and embassies and media covering the referendum process in different countries, first two days of voting were swift and happened without any incidents, with the relatively high voters’ turnout since the first day.

Some results of the recently conducted opinion polls
(Image: Ahram Online)
Thus, voting for Egyptian expats will last till 12 January, after this date the results will be counted and registered and sent to Egypt. National Constitutional Referendum in Egypt will start on 14 January and will be held for two days (14-15 January).

According to several researches and opinion polls conducted recently by Egyptian sociologist groups have shown that the majority of Egyptians (nearly 74%) are going to support the emended Constitution during the referendum, while nearly 3% stated they will vote against the national charter and some 23% stated they were still undecided. As for the text of the Constitution, the polls have shown that more than half of Egyptian citizens haven’t read the text of the Constitution’s draft yet (59%), nearly 5% said they’ve read the text, and other 36% stated they have read only some parts of the document. As for the participation in the referendum, the majority of Egyptians are planning to take part in it and to cast their votes, though there are those who decided to boycott the referendum due to different reasons. Thus, many Islamist parties and movements have stated earlier they will boycott the referendum.