Egyptians abroad can vote in embassies, court rules

CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian court ruled on Tuesday that Egyptians living abroad should be allowed to vote at embassies in upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, a judicial source said.

Egypt’s parliamentary elections, the first elections after mass protests ended President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule in February, will start on November 28. Egyptians will then vote for a new president although no date has been set.

The ruling army council has sent mixed messages about whether expatriates would be allowed to vote, although many protesters had made it one of their demands.

Egyptian media suggests about 8 million citizens study and work abroad, many of them driven away to find jobs because of high unemployment at home. Most work in other Arab states, including the Gulf, though there is a sizeable community in the West.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous state with about 80 million people, relies heavily on remittances from its expatriates for foreign currency income.