CAIRO: The High Presidential Elections Commission Sunday sent a model of the presidential election ballot to the foreign ministry as a prelude to start the balloting of Egyptian expatriates Thursday.
Sources inside the commission said the ballot model was sent in a CD, and the foreign ministry will in turn distribute it to its embassies, according to the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper.
The embassies will print the balloting papers and distribute them to balloting stations abroad, and each paper contains a code number to avoid forgery, according to the commission. The newspaper added that each balloting paper contains the name, symbol, picture and nickname of each candidate. Balloting abroad for the presidential elections is slated to begin from May 15-18, and in Egypt from May 26-27.
Meanwhile, HPEC Secretary General Abdel Aziz Seliman said Saturday on Dream TV that only about 67,000 Egyptian expatriates registered their names for the upcoming election, compared with the 420,000 who registered for the 2014 constitutional referendum. Also, he denied reports that the total number of Egyptian expatriates has reached six million, adding that no one can count the total number of expatriates.
Former army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Nasserist activist Hamdeen Sabbahi are the only two candidates who will formally run in the race and Sisi is expected to win in a landslide. Television interviews last week allowed the two presidential candidates to discuss their electoral platforms.
The upcoming elections will be the first presidential elections to be held after the overthrow of deposed President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. Morsi took office on June 30, 2012 and is considered to be the first democratically elected president in the country’s history.