News / Middle East

Egypt's Presidential Vote Goes to a 3rd Day

Election officials aElection officials wait for voters inside a polling station on the second day of voting in the Egyptian election in Cairo, May 27, 2014.
Election officials aElection officials wait for voters inside a polling station on the second day of voting in the Egyptian election in Cairo, May 27, 2014.
Edward Yeranian
The Egyptian government has extended voting in the country's presidential election to a third day, and warned voters they will be fined if they do not cast ballots.  

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlib's announcement that the vote for president had been extended through Wednesday caught many Egyptians by surprise.  The government had already declared Tuesday a public holiday. to spur reluctant voters to turn out, and top Christian and Muslim religious figures urged people to cast their ballots.

Coptic Pope Shenouda told journalists that citizens should vote even if they do not like the choice of candidates, because their participation adds to the credibility of the election:

"It is important to vote in numbers, because a strong turnout adds to the credibility of the vote.  Voters who do not like the candidates still have a duty to vote because the election will help stabilize the nation and build democracy," said Pope Shenouda.

Scenes of enthusiasm were visible in many places.  At a women's polling station in the Cairo working-class district of Imbaba, a throng of women wearing headscarves cheered and ululated as voters lined up outside.  

Government offices, banks and the stock market were closed by official decree and the normally thick week-day traffic was absent from most major thoroughfares.
 
  • A woman votes in Cairo, May 27, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam /VOA)
  • A man votes in Cairo, May 27, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam /VOA)
  • A soldier helps a woman at a polling station in Cairo, May 27, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam /VOA)
  • Security outside a polling station in Cairo, May 27, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam /VOA)
  • Children wave flags outside a polling station in Cairo, May 27, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam /VOA)
  • A polling station in Cairo, May 27, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam /VOA)
  • Women vote in Cairo, May 27, 2014. (Hamada Elrasam /VOA)

In the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, music blared from loudspeakers at a polling station, but crowds dwindled under the heavy mid-day sun.  

In the port city of Marsa Matrouh, voter Abdallah Abdel Latif insisted he and his friends decided to vote in order to fulfill the official “roadmap” towards a return to democracy, which former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el Sissi put forth last July after ousting the increasingly unpopular Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

"The heat had turned back many voters Monday, but it had cooled off slightly Tuesday and people were voting normally," said Latif.

At a polling station in the district of Manoufiya, north of Cairo, local electoral head Wa'el Omran said the vote was going smoothly and he anticipated no problems:

Electoral commission head Tarek Shibl told Egyptian TV there were few complaints of irregularities in voting, and that he did not anticipate any delays in announcing results for that reason.

Judges and polling-station officials were asked to return to their posts for the third day of voting, but the government has not proclaimed it a holiday.  

Former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who is facing leftist Hamdeen Sabahi, is expected to win the election by a wide margin, but his supporters are hoping for a high turnout.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid