21 February 2024 07:54 AM

2024 presidential elections commence with high morning turnout

Sunday، 10 December 2023 - 03:11 PM

Egypt's 2024 presidential elections commenced nationwide on Sunday, marked by a significant voter turnout and queues forming outside polling stations across the country.

The electoral committees are opening their doors to nearly 67 million eligible voters from 9am to 9pm on 10, 11, & 12 December 2023.

Eligible voters can inquire about their electoral committees and polling stations by entering their 14-digit national identification number on the NEA website.

In a press conference on Sunday morning, the Executive Director of the National Elections Authority (NEA) Ahmed Bendari affirmed that the voting process is going smoothly across all polling stations and subcommittees. He noted that there was a slight delay in a committee in Giza for a few minutes, but operations resumed promptly.

The committee heads have also reported high citizen turnout, he said.

Bendari added that some heads had reported crowding in multiple polling stations, particularly among female voters.

The Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) reported significant turnout at most polling stations visited by the ECSS on-site observation team.

According to the ECSS report, the teams witnessed active participation from female and youth voters.

The ECSS further indicated that the majority of electoral committees opened their doors Sunday on time, while only a few committees opened late.

According to the NEA, eligible voters can head to 11,631 sub-committees set up across 9,376 polling stations and supervised by 15,000 judges nationwide.

In a press conference on Saturday, Head of the NEA Judge Hazem Badawy stated that Egypt is the only country in the world that holds elections with full judicial supervision, which is the primary guarantee for the transparency of the elections.

The NEA has allocated subcommittees to accommodate the special requirements of seniors and people with disabilities. The body also provided posters to inform voters with hearing disabilities and braille ballots for visually impaired voters.

The NEA, established per the 2014 constitution, is the independent body responsible for organizing and overseeing elections.

Students and teachers at 10,085 schools across the country being used as voting locations will get three to five days off.

Voting in governorates

 

Egypt's incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi cast his ballot in the Cairo district of Heliopolis during the first 30 minutes of the process.

Hazem Omar, Egypt's presidential candidate from the People's Republican Party, also cast his ballot early Sunday in the Saiza Nabarawi School in New Cairo.

Presidential candidate Farid Zahran, from the leftist opposition Social Democratic Party, cast his ballot in Mokkatam district. Moreover, presidential candidate Abdel-Sanad Yamama, representing the Wafd party, cast his vote in the Dokki district in Giza.

Many ministers and senior officials cast their votes on the first day of the presidential elections including the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hanafy El-Gebaly, the Prosecutor General Mohamed Shawki, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Assem El-Gazzar, Minister of Culture Nevine El-Kilany, Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Kabbaj, and Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy.

For the first time, Egypt's New Administrative Capital was allocated three polling stations to accommodate around 48,108 state employees, who have been recently relocated and are working there.

Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal confirmed Sunday in a statement the smooth start of voting across all Cairo polling stations, highlighting coordination between the central operations room and various entities, including the Cabinet and local development authorities.

According to Abdel-Aal, Cairo has 8,236,761 voters distributed among 45 general committees, 961 subcommittees (schools), and 444 polling stations, with an additional 58 committees set up for voters coming from outside Cairo.

In Alexandria, Governor Mohamed El-Sherif oversaw the main operations room, ensuring the first day's presidential elections proceeded smoothly.

He emphasized continuous monitoring and coordination with sub-operations rooms, guaranteeing a secure and efficient voting process.

In Kafr El-Sheikh, the voting process is stable and organized across all polling stations in the governorate, with enhanced police security, Governor Gamal Nour El-Din confirmed in a statement.

Over 1.3 million voters are anticipated to participate in the presidential elections in Kafr El-Sheikh, distributed across 14 general committees, 508 polling stations, and 524 subcommittees.

In El-Wadi El-Gedid governorate, Governor Mohamed El-Zamlout inspected the election process, emphasizing the smooth start with 82 subcommittees and 67 polling stations. 

Bani Suef Governor Mohamed Hany Ghoneim monitored the voting commencement in the governorate's 506 polling centres, emphasizing coordination among security forces and executive bodies. 

The governor urged positive citizen participation and highlighted the preparedness of all relevant authorities.

As for Matrouh Governorate, Governor Khaled Shaheeb confirmed the smooth opening of all polling stations in the governorate, with 149 polling stations and 200 subcommittees ready to receive 342,000 voters. 

 

Candidates running for the presidency include incumbent President El-Sisi, who is running for a third term in office and whose electoral symbol is a star; Zahran, the leftist opposition Social Democratic Party candidate with the sun as his electoral symbol.

Other contenders are Yamama, representing the Wafd party with the palm tree as his electoral symbol; and Omar, with the ladder as his symbol.

The NEA has approved 24 embassies, 67 diplomats, and 220 international observers, along with 68 local organizations and 22,340 local observers to monitor the elections.

The NEA has also approved 4,218 media observers – representing a wide range of agencies, newspapers, channels, and media outlets – to cover the upcoming elections, Ahmed Bendari, NEA's Executive Director stated in a press conference on Wednesday.

Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) established Thursday a central operations room to monitor the voting.

The operations room aims to facilitate media coverage for foreign media representatives and will operate around the clock during the three-day voting period, according to the head of SIS Diaa Rashwan.

Voting abroad was held from 1-3 December at 137 Egyptian embassies and consulates across 121 countries.

The NEA will complete the overall vote count by 13 December.

Appeals against the NEA decisions will be accepted by the NEA on 14 December, with rulings issued on 15 and 16 December.

The NEA is scheduled to announce final results on 18 December, if no run-off is required.

Ahram


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