Egyptian expatriates living in Kuwait hold an image of Egypt's ex-army chief and presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, with text reading in Arabic: "long live Egypt" as they arrive to cast their vote in their country's election at the Egyptian embassy in Kuwait City, on May 16, 2014. Image Credit: AFP

Manama: Kuwait is to deport 15 Egyptian nationals for their participation in an “illegal gathering” in support of presidential candidate former military chief Abdul Fattah Al Sissi.

The Egyptians reportedly came off a bus in the capital Kuwait City and raised pictures of the Egyptian presidential hopeful and their country’s flag amid fanfare and drum beating.

“Some of the Egyptian nationals climbed over the bus and shouted slogans supporting Al Sissi,” security sources told local daily Al Rai. “Their actions disrupted traffic alongside Al Fatnass Beach.”

According to the sources, traffic policemen approached the bus driver and asked him and his passengers to show their identification documents, but they refused.

“The policemen then called for backup support, particularly as more people joined the crowd, and more servicemen rushed to the area where they arrested 15 Egyptians and took them to the police station in Al Fatnass,” the daily reported on Monday.

The case was referred to the criminal investigation directorate and subsequently orders were issued to deport the 15 Egyptians.

Local reports said that the Egyptian embassy has been exerting “great efforts” to have the Kuwaiti authorities reverse the order and allow the Egyptians to stay in Kuwait after signing a pledge to abide by the rules. However, no statement has been issued.

“They were given a grace period of some days to prepare themselves to leave Kuwait for breaking the local laws and rules,” the sources said.

Kuwait bans all foreigners from organising or taking part in public rallies regardless of their purpose for security reasons. Citizens however do have the right to hold rallies.

The northern Arabian Gulf emirate is home to slightly more than 2 million foreigners who make up two thirds of the total population. Egyptians constitute the largest Arab community in the country.

Egyptian expatriates in 124 countries on Thursday began casting their ballots in 141 embassies and diplomatic missions to elect their next president, either Al Sisi or Hamdeen Sabahy.

The voting, scheduled to end on Sunday, was extended by one day until Monday 9pm local time due to the high turnout in embassies and consulates around the world, the foreign ministry said.

Around 260,000 expatriate Egyptians are estimated to have cast their ballots by Sunday afternoon.

The total expatriate turnout in the 2012 presidential elections was 311,875.

The presidential elections inside Egypt are scheduled for May 26 and 27.