Egyptian expatriates vote in presidential poll

AP News
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Posted: May 15, 2014 8:58 AM
Egyptian expatriates vote in presidential poll

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian expatriates began lining up Thursday at polling places in more than 100 countries to cast ballots in four days of voting for Egypt's coming presidential election.

Egyptians dropped their votes into clear ballot boxes at consulates and embassies across the world, with Gulf countries and Australia seeing a relatively high turnout, Egypt's Foreign Ministry said. In Jordan, a crowd waved the Egyptian flag and cheered the vote.

The voting comes ahead of Egypt's May 26-27 vote to elect a new president after last year's military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president. Retired Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the July 3 overthrow after millions protested against Morsi, is widely expected to win on a wave of nationalistic, anti-Islamist fervor.

El-Sissi faces leftist Hamdeen Sabahi, who has the support of youth groups who led the 2011 uprising against autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi's overthrow sparked a wave of militant attacks. The military-backed interim government launched heavy crackdown on Morsi's supporters after the overthrow, killing and arresting thousands.

Authorities hope for a high turnout in the poll as a way to legitimize Morsi's overthrow.

There are nearly 600,000 registered Egyptian expatriate voters around the world. Arab countries, especially the Gulf monarchies and the United States, have large presence of Egyptian expatriates.

Morsi's supporters, including his Muslim Brotherhood, say they'll boycott the vote.