More Egyptians abroad have voted in the second phase of parliamentary elections than the first phase, according to the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC).
As of 9pm on Sunday, the total number of votes cast from abroad was 37,168, an increase of nearly 6,000, said SEC spokesman Omar Marwan.
During a press conference on Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdy Loza said more than 28,300 people had voted from abroad as of 2:30pm on Sunday. Loza added that Egyptian embassies in most countries did not encounter any problems in organising the poll, which took place over Saturday and Sunday.
Loza said Egyptian voters in the French capital Paris turned out in greater numbers than for the first phase of voting last month. Egyptian Ambassador to France Ihab Badawy announced that the total number of voters in Paris and Marseille during the second phase totalled 1,140 votes (1,107 valid votes and 33 void).
SEC chief Ayman Abbas said voting was also higher in a number of other countries, especially in Saudi Arabia, in which the number of voters in the second phase reached 18,500 as of 6pm Cairo time. Saudi Arabia ranked number one in terms of the number of Egyptians taking part, followed by Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, according to the SEC.
Egyptians began voting on Saturday morning, with 2,872 candidates competing for 282 seats in 102 constituencies. Over two days, Egyptians living abroad attended polling stations in 139 Egyptian consulates and embassies.
In the first phase of the elections, 30,531 people voted from abroad, representing a mere 4.5% of over 680,000 potential voters. Some 1,800 of the votes cast were deemed void.
The total number of Egyptians (at home and abroad) eligible to take part was around 28.2 million, with Cairo boasting the lion’s share at 6.8 million potential voters.
Of the 282 seats up for grabs in this second phase of voting, 222 are being contested by independent candidates, while 60 are reserved for political parties.
Egypt’s new House of Representatives has 596 seats overall. In combination with the first round of voting – which took place in October – the election is due to produce 448 independent deputies and 120 representing political parties. The remaining 28 are to be appointed by the president, as sanctioned by the Egyptian constitution.