A preliminary count of votes for Egyptians living abroad has put Islamist candidate Abdul-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh in the lead, followed by left-leaning Hamdeen Sabahi . The online statement by the State Information Service (SIS) on Saturday added that the figures “confirmed a sharp competition” for third between Amr Moussa and Mohamed Mursi.
The note did not elaborate on the precise breakdown of votes, or how many had been counted so far. A total of 587,000 Egyptians abroad registered to participate, according to the Supreme Presidential Elections Commission (SPEC). The figure represents just 1.13 percent of citizens eligible to take part, but nonetheless gives valuable clues about the current strength of the 13 candidates running for the top job. Almost 45 percent of Egyptian voters overseas reside in Saudi Arabia, and some 119,000 in Kuwait.
Numbers have gradually been trickling in from individual consulates and embassies around the world. In a press conference on Saturday, Egypt’s ambassador to Kuwait said that Mursi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), had garnered the most votes in what appeared to be a closely-fought race. Out of a total of 55,288, Mursi secured 17,139 votes. Aboul-Fotouh came in second with 14,109, followed by Sabahi.
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