Egyptians around the world began voting on Friday for their next president ahead of an election on March 26-28 that is expected to hand incumbent President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi a landslide victory. In a Friday statement, the Foreign Ministry said Egyptians living abroad had begun casting ballots at Egyptian embassies and consulates worldwide. The expatriate voting period will last for three days from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local times), wrapping up Sunday evening.
Immigration Minister Nabila Makram called on Egyptian expatriates to exercise their "legal and constitutional right" to take part in the poll. According to Egypt's official electoral commission, 139 polling stations have been set up at Egyptian diplomatic missions in 124 countries.
Sisi is expected to win the March vote with his only challenger an obscure politician and one of his most ardent supporters. Moussa Mustafa Moussa entered the race in the 11th hour, sparing Sisi and his government the deeper embarrassment of a one-candidate election. Over a dozen international and regional rights groups issued a joint statement yesterday, saying the upcoming election does not meet the minimum requirements for a fair and free vote and called on Cairo's Western allies to denounce the farcical election.