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Egyptians cast ballots in 3rd and last day of referendum voting
Published in Ahram Online on 22 - 04 - 2019

Polling stations nationwide opened its doors on Monday, the third day of voting in a referendum on constitutional amendments, with embassies and consulates abroad ended their three days on Sunday.
More than 61 million Egyptians are eligible to vote in the referendum on the amendments to the 2014 charter, which were recently overwhelmingly approved by parliament.
The referendum on the amendments to a number of articles of the constitution, which includes an extension of the presidential term began nationwide on Saturday and abroad on Friday.
Earlier on Sunday, Egypt's National Elections Authority (NEA) said it would not be extending its three days of voting, dismissing reports claiming otherwise.
The constitutional amendments referendum abroad, which started on Friday, took place in 140 polling stations in Egyptian consulates and embassies in 124 countries.
According to Ahram Arabic, the Egyptian embassies in Russia , Uganda, Ukraine , Saudi Arabia and United Arab closed their doors in front of expat voters as the referendum ended 9 PM according to their local time.
Meanwhile, the NEA said it has not received any reports that voters were being "bribed" to cast their ballots in the ongoing national referendum on the amendments to the country's constitution.
The NEA didn't not mention specific numbers on the turnout in the referendum voting, however it said that the first day of voting [Saturday] saw "a higher turnout than any other first day of voting in any formerly held elections of any kind in the country."
NEA's spokesperson Judge Mahmoud El-Sharif said that the authority would immediately deal with any electoral violations, including bribes, within the law.
On Saturday, several reports suggested that voters were receiving a food package in exchange for voting on the amendments, which would see an extension of President Abdel-Fattah's El-Sisi's term from four to six years.
Critics of the constitutional amendmendts fear the may constitute a step in the return to authoritarian rule in the country by increasing the president's grip on power.


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