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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.