News / Middle East

Egyptians Living Abroad Cast Votes for New President

Egyptian nationals living in Kuwait stand in line at the entrance of the Egyptian Embassy before voting in Egypt's presidential elections, in Bnaid al-Gar, Kuwait, May 16, 2012.Egyptian nationals living in Kuwait stand in line at the entrance of the Egyptian Embassy before voting in Egypt's presidential elections, in Bnaid al-Gar, Kuwait, May 16, 2012.
x
Egyptian nationals living in Kuwait stand in line at the entrance of the Egyptian Embassy before voting in Egypt's presidential elections, in Bnaid al-Gar, Kuwait, May 16, 2012.
Egyptian nationals living in Kuwait stand in line at the entrance of the Egyptian Embassy before voting in Egypt's presidential elections, in Bnaid al-Gar, Kuwait, May 16, 2012.

WASHINGTON - Voters in Egypt go to the polls Wednesday and Thursday [May 23 and 24] to choose a new president. Ahead of that historic election, Egyptians living overseas have been able to cast their ballots at local consulates and embassies.


In the shade outside of her office in Washington, Nihal Elwan is about to do something she’s never done before. She’s voting for the president of her homeland - Egypt. She has 13 candidates to choose from - including Islamists, leftists and former regime officials - each identified by name and a symbol for voters who cannot read.


"Should the process be transparent, then for the first time, this country will be run by a president who is actually elected. Which is incredible. I mean, it’s incredible," said Elwan.

Egyptians Living Abroad Cast Votes for New Presidenti
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Carolyn Presutti
May 19, 2012 3:07 AM
Voters in Egypt go to the polls Wednesday and Thursday [May 23 and 24] to choose a new president. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports that ahead of that historic election, Egyptians living overseas have been able to cast their ballots at local consulates and embassies.

Egyptians forced longtime president Hosni Mubarak from office last year during the so-called "Arab Spring" uprisings. A military transitional government has ruled Egypt ever since. Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian ambassador to United States, said the next president must establish stability.


"It’s the institutionalized reforms, laying the foundations of a new Egypt, which I’m sure will not only occupy the president, but all segments of government," said Shoukry.

More than 27,000 Egyptian expatriates registered to vote on the election website. Half of those printed out ballots. Here in Washington, more than 3,000 voted.


Elwan arrives at the embassy to join those thousands. Her identification is checked.

 

She puts her sealed ballot in a plastic bin, numbered 7. It’s the seventh and final day of voting for Egyptians living outside of Egypt. And, many are embracing their new right to freedom of speech.

 

Some voters used the outside of their envelopes to comment on the election. It doesn’t desecrate the ballot or affect their vote, but does make a statement. This one reads "Down with military rule. Long live the martyrs."


Elwan did not write that, but she understands what was lost to gain her new privileges.

"Thousands of people died, and the fact that I get to vote means that thousands of people died for the past year and a half for me to be able to vote, so, that’s just so invaluable," she said.


If no candidate emerges as a clear winner after voters in Egypt cast their ballots, a runoff will take place in June. 


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid