Egyptians resident in Nigeria have begun casting their votes ahead of Egypt's Dec. 15 referendum on the draft constitution, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports
A statement from the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt obtained by NAN on Friday in Abuja said voting commenced on Wednesday and would close on Saturday at 8 p.m.
"Voters cast their votes directly by coming to the embassy and indirectly by mailing their votes," the statement said.
"All votes are contained in sealed envelopes and experts will be present to note how many votes were cast and the results sent to Cairo," it stated.
The statement said Egyptians living abroad began voting in embassies globally on Wednesday.
Egyptians go to the polls Saturday to vote on whether to adopt a new constitution that is backed by the country's Islamists, headed by President Mohammed Morsi, while the opposition is split between those calling for a 'No' vote and those urging an outright boycott.
The referendum will be held over two days, with a second round on Saturday Dec. 22 because many of Egypt's judges have refused to supervise the poll in protest against the sweeping powers appropriated by Morsi.
The second and final stage is to be conducted in the remaining provinces on Dec. 22.
If the draft constitution is voted down, an election will be held within three months to pick a new constituent assembly.
Liberal and secular opponents fear that a "Yes" vote will usher in Sharia-type laws in a constitution they feel is too vaguely-worded and will weaken human rights, the rights of women and the independence of the judiciary.
The opposition umbrella group, the National Salvation Front, is urging a "No" vote. NAN