Nearly 95 percent of the more than 300,000 Egyptians living abroad who voted this week have expressed overwhelming support for presidential candidate Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.
Over the past few days, several embassies and diplomatic missions have begun publishing the results of overseas voting, which took place over the weekend, ahead of the domestic polls that open on Thursday.
In Qatar, which has had an increasingly strained relationship with Egypt under Al Sisi’s leadership so far, expats also supported the general. He received 19,165 votes, while his contender Hamdeen Sabahi collected only 1,674 votes.
The results, published on Monday at midnight by the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Qatar, state that 21,237 Egyptian citizens residing in Doha cast their votes in the presidential poll. Out of this number, 20,839 votes were counted as valid, leaving 398 invalid votes.
On the third day of the elections, Doha News spoke to several voters, the majority of whom said that they supported Al Sisi.
The general also won by sweeping margins in the US, UK, Italy and Germany, among other countries.
Speaking about results, Essam Farag, spokesman of Sabahi’s campaign in Qatar, told Doha News:
“The high voter turnout is due to Egyptians being falsely persuaded and misguided by the media which has affected their minds about what’s happening.”
He added that expat Egyptians are exposed to a “different” kind of media than the one in Egypt, which explains the outcome of the polls.
Al Sisi, who was a former Minister of Defense and head of the Egyptian Army General, has gained nationwide momentum in the months after ousting President Mohamed Morsi amid mass protests on June 30 of last year.
Since then, he has garnered the support of many Egyptian institutions that took part in the protests against the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi’s one-year rule.
His contender, Sabahi, leader of the Egyptian Popular Current who ran in the 2012 presidential elections and came in third, was jailed several times for his opposing politics under former successive presidents, Anwar Al Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.
As of Monday night, the number of Egyptian expats who voted has reached 315,000 voters. That’s a slight increase in the 314,329 expat voters who cast their ballots in the presidential elections in 2012, Egypt’s Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) said in a statement on its website.
The results have so far indicated that Al Sisi has lead the the expat vote in all 124 countries.
In a news statement published in Arabic on his official website, unofficial indicators revealed that Al Sisi has gained an “overwhelming” number of votes in the Gulf countries, especially in Saudi Arabia, where many Egyptians reside.
Here’s a breakdown of the votes Al Sisi recieved from Egyptian expats in the Gulf, as published on his official Facebook page:
- Saudi Arabia: 70,267 out of 76,609 (Jeddah: 34,304 out of 37,090 and Riyadh: 35,963 out of 39,519);
- Kuwait: 62,527 out of 65,330;
- UAE: 49,194 out of 52,256;
- Qatar: 19,165 out of 21,237;
- Bahrain: 5,305 out of 6,025; and
- Oman: 4,859 out of 5,299
Farag said that Sabahi’s campaign would not officially comment or speak about the results.
He however thanked Qatar’s Ministry of Interior for their efforts in
helping voters reach the embassy by managing the roads and leading them inside.
Voting began at 141 embassies and consulates on May 15, and concluded on May 18 after it was extended in several countries, including Qatar, due to a high voter turnout.
In the meantime, the presidential vote is scheduled to start on May 26 and 27 in Egypt. The vote is the second following the January referendum on an amended constitution.