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Low expat turnout for Egyptian vote

May 14, 2012 at 1:03 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 14 (UPI) -- Less than 6 percent of the Egyptians in Washington who are registered to vote in their presidential contest cast ballots, an Egyptian ambassador said.

Nearly 30,000 Egyptians living in the United States are eligible to vote in their presidential elections. That's 7,000 more than were registered for parliamentary elections last year.

There are 13 candidates competing for president in the first such election since a popular uprising last year forced long-time President Hosni Mubarak to stand down.

Egyptian ambassador to the United States Sameh Shoukri said less than 6 percent of the estimated 6,200 registered voters in Washington cast ballots, Egyptian news service al-Ahram reports.

Egyptians living overseas were able to vote starting Friday in person or via mail ballots. Expatriate voting ends Thursday. A second round of expat voting is to begin June 3 should no candidate win outright later this month.

Egyptians last week watched their first televised presidential debate featuring former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and former Muslim Brotherhood official Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh. Both are among the front-runners in the presidential field.

The first round of voting begins May 23 in Egypt. The victor is expected to take office by July.

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