Egypt's Sisi cruising to re-election victory, but with lower voter turnout
Mar 30, 2018, 00:41
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has won re-election as Egypt's president, according to preliminary results reported by a number of state media outlets, showing the former army general winning 92 percent of the vote.
"The scenes of the Egyptians outside the polling stations will remain a matter of honour and pride for me and hard evidence of the greatness of our nation", he added.
With the outcome known, el-Sissi's focus will be on keeping voter turnout high enough to show citizens support his rule.
State-run media trumpeted Sisi's victory early on Thursday, predicting a "big turnout", and radio programs said that most of the voters were from Egypt's fast-growing youth. He secured a landslide victory with 96.91 percent of votes in the 2014 presidential election.
The final day of voting in Egypt's presidential elections was marred by accusations of widespread intimidation by the authorities, some of whom offered incentives to try to boost the turnout.
Sisi, who led the military overthrow of freely-elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013, has promised security and stability and to revive the economy after unrest that followed a 2011 popular uprising. The country's almost 60 million eligible voters have the chance to choose between Al-Sisi and Chairman of the liberal Ghad Party Moussa Mostafa Moussa, Efe news reported.
Hours before polls closed on Wednesday, the country's electoral authority extended the vote by one hour.
Results of this year's vote are expected on 2 April.
In Daqahliya, one of the country's most populated governorates, El-Sisi received 85 percent of the vote and Moussa polled just 2 percent, with nearly 47 percent of eligible voters casting their ballots, according to Ahram Arabic.
Late on Tuesday, turnout was between 15 and 20 percent, the diplomat told Reuters, requesting anonymity, with around 30 percent in some centres on Wednesday.
"I've never voted before, and I didn't intend to this time either", a woman in Cairo's working-class Ward estate said.
Ashraf Ahmed, a 50-year-old ceramic sculptor, said while smoking shisha in a cafe: "I have only one wish and if accomplished, I will be very happy".
At a press conference, an election commission official, Mahmud al-Sherif, said there had been no violations of Egypt's election law.
Alexandria governorate has more than 3.8 million eligible voters.
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