Fifteen months after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, Egyptians overseas will go to the polls for a week from Friday to vote in a new president, amidst confusion whether the presidential elections will be suspended or not. Around 60,000 out of more than 300,000 Egyptians living and working in the UAE are registered to cast absentee ballots in Egypt’s embassy in Abu Dhabi and consulate in Dubai in the first free elections since Mubarak was ousted in February last year. It is estimated that more than eight million Egyptians are working and living abroad, but nearly 600,000 are registered voters overseas. On Wednesday, an Egyptian administrative court issued an unexpected ruling to suspend the presidential elections due later this month.
Courts in the Nile Delta cities of Benha and Minufiya said the first round scheduled for May 23 and 24 should not go ahead, as the law did not give the electoral commission chief powers to call the poll. However, a legal source told Gulf News the ruling to suspend elections would be overturned, because the power to call the polls was delegated to the commission chief by the military ruler who exercises executive authority.