CAIRO: The electoral campaign of presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi announced Friday that its overseas representatives have monitored a “string of violations” on the first day of Egypt’s expat presidential voting currently taking place in 124 countries, according to ElWatan News.
Mona Amer, head of the Sabbahi campaign’s committee for expatriate affairs told ONTV satellite channel that representatives of Sabbahi’s competitor, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, have distributed flyers inside polling centers in Egypt’s consulates in Los Angeles and Chicago and Egypt’s embassy in Washington D.C.
“Several voters were seen inside the polling centers wearing T-shirts with photos of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi,” Amer said.
The alleged violations were reported to the heads of the polling centers, who obliged the violators to remove the T-shirts or cover them, Amer added.
She also said several voters were monitored chanting pro-Sisi songs and slogans and verbally assaulted Sabbahi supporters in front of polling centers.
Amer additionally said opaque ballot boxes were found in several polling stations, which she said “violated the transparency regulations” stipulated by the High Presidential Electoral Commission (HPEC).
She called on HPEC to immediately intervene and stop these violations.
Expatriate voting started on Thursday and will close on Sunday, with 681,000 Egyptians eligible to participate, Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel Aty told ElWatan.
He added that by 7 p.m. in Cairo on Friday, 122,000 Egyptians had cast their ballots in 144 polling centers in 124 countries worldwide.
No polling centers are available in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic and Somalia for security reasons. Egyptians who live in these countries will have to travel to nearby countries to vote.
The presidential elections in Egypt will be held from May 26-27 with around 54 million Egyptians eligible to cast their ballots, according to the HEPC website.
The results will be announced on June 5 with a run-off round from June 16-17 if no candidate collects more than half the vote in the first round.
HEPC announced that around 16,000 judges will take part in supervising the elections in 14,000 polling centers nationwide. On May 2, HEPC announced that Sisi and Sabbahi were officially listed as the only two candidates participating in the race.