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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid