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Egypt's Sisi re-elected in virtual one-horse race

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi secured 92 per cent of the vote [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 March, 2018

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Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has secured re-election in a vote widely viewed as neither free or fair.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has won re-election with 92 per cent of the vote to secure a second four-year term, according to state media.

Some 23 million of 60 million eligible voters cast their ballots during the three day poll from March 26-28, state-owned newspapers al-Ahram and Akhbar el-Youm, and the official MENA news agency reported.

 Voter turnout appears to be lower than the 2014 election, when more than 25 million Egyptians turned up despite a smaller pool of 54 million eligible voters.

Sisi was virtually unopposed at the polls after at least five major candidates - including Ahmed Shafiq and Sami Anan, two men with army ties - were either sidelined or jailed. 

Sisi's sole opponent was Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a largely unknown political figure who had previously endorsed Sisi before stepping in to serve as an opponent. Moussa received just 721,000 votes, according to Akhbar el-Youm.

Egyptian authorities were hoping to boost turnout as a show of support for the authoritarian leader, given sharp international criticism of an election that nearly all observers said was not free or fair.

The electoral commission had issued a last-minute call for voting and news reports said Egyptians would be fined for failing to turn up at the polls.

A total of 13,700 voting booths were set up across the country. Early reports suggested low turnout, after many booths had short lines and others were virtually empty. 

Some voters said they had received payments and other incentives to cast their ballots, according to Reuters

The final vote tally is expected to be released on Monday.

The New Arab has covered every twist and turn in the election saga, combining the latest breaking news with insightful political commentary.

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