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Sabahi offers alternative for Egypt

While Hamdeen Sabahi is unlikely to win Egypt’s presidential election against Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Sabahi could still surprise, and his postelection decisions will influence the direction of Egyptian politics.
Egypt's leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi (L) greets supporters before a rally in Banha, northwest of Cairo May 7, 2014. Egyptians will vote in presidential elections on May 26 and 27.  REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR3O77Z
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On the morning of May 15, Egyptians abroad started voting in the presidential elections at Egyptian embassies and consulates around the world. International voting stations are open for four days after which voting will take place in Egypt on May 26-27. Preliminary data from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry showed extensive participation in the voting at the embassies around the world, but a report released on May 16 said that, as of 2 p.m. that day, 100,000 persons had voted. This is a small number considering that 8 million Egyptians live abroad, but it is a reasonable figure considering that 305,000 expatriates voted in the first round of the 2012 presidential elections. It should be noted that the Higher Election Committee has decided not to allow voting by mail. 

Some have pointed to the rising fortunes of Hamdeen Sabahi, especially in electronic polls on the websites of several independent newspapers, and said that he may spring a surprise, like he did in the 2012 election. On the other hand, many think that Sabahi’s candidacy was pointless, especially when some early opinion polls indicated that Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will win with a vote of between 72% and 76%.

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