Egyptians abroad can start voting on Friday for their first president since veteran leader Hosni Mubarak was toppled last year, less than two weeks before polling stations open in the country.
They have until May 17 to cast their ballots in embassies and consulates. Voting in Egypt will take place on May 23 and 24, with a rerun in June if none of the 13 candidates wins a majority in the first round.
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Absentee ballots can be cast for the run off from June 3 until June 9.
The election should mark the end of a controversial military-led transitional period after a popular uprising ousted Mubarak in February 2011.
Polls suggest that the frontrunners are moderate Islamist, Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, and Amr Mussa, a former foreign minister and Arab League chief.