Breaking News
Egypt state media says Sisi wins landslide election victory, with almost 40 percent turnout Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Egypt state media says Sisi wins landslide election victory, with almost 40 percent turnout

Heavy-weight would-be challengers to Sisi were all sidelined, arrested or pulled out[Getty]

Date of publication: 29 March, 2018

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Egypt's president has been re-elected for a second term with about 92 percent of the vote, preliminary results showed on Thursday, with just over 40 percent of voters casting ballots.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected for a second term with about 92 percent of the vote, preliminary results showed on Thursday, with just over 40 percent of voters casting ballots.

Twenty-five million of the 60 million registered voters, or some 41.5 percent, turned out during the three days of polling that ended on Wednesday, state-owned newspaper al-Ahram reported.

According to al-Ahram, 23 million people voted for Sisi, while two million spoiled their ballot papers.

The Akhbar al-Youm newspaper did not report the full turnout but said Sisi won 21.4 million votes, and his rival Moussa Mostafa Moussa 721,000 votes, without mentioning the number of spoiled ballots.

Figures reported by another daily, al-Youm al-Sabea, showed that invalid votes amounted to about six percent, or some 1.5 million, more votes than Moussa received.

Official results are expected on April 2.

Sisi's sole challenger was the little-known Moussa, himself a supporter of the president, who registered immediately before the close date for applications, saving the election from being a one-horse race.

Moussa conceded his loss on Wednesday night, telling a television station he had hoped for ten percent of the vote.

"But I know the immense popularity of President Sisi," he said.

Other, more heavy-weight would-be challengers were all sidelined, arrested or pulled out.

In the 2014 election, Sissi won 96.9 percent of the vote, with official turnout of 47 percent.

That was less than a year after he led the military overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, amid mass protests calling on the Islamist leader to resign.

Turnout down on 2014

Turnout of 47 percent in that year's election was sharply higher than this year's 40 percent despite appeals from Prime Minister Sherif Ismail for voters to fulfil their patriotic duty.

Reports of people being threatened and bullied into casting ballots during the election have been rife.

Sisi has praised the turn out.

"The vote by masses of Egypt will remain a testament, no doubt, that our nation's will imposes itself with strength and knows no weakness," Sisi said on his Twitter account late Wednesday.

Boycotters who cannot show good reason for not going to the polls could a face a fine of up to 500 Egyptian pounds (22 euros), the electoral commission has warned, but similar threats have been made in the past without being widely enforced.

At a news conference, election commission official, Mahmud al-Sherif, said there had been no violations of Egypt's election law.

Opposition groups had called for a boycott of this week's vote which they labelled a facade.

There were no presidential debates and Sisi himself did not appear at any official campaign events, although he spoke at a number of ceremonies.

In an interview days ahead of the vote, Sisi said he had wished there were more candidates, denying any role in sidelining them.

At a speech before the vote he also called for a high turnout.

"I need you because the journey is not over," Sisi told a mostly female audience. "I need every lady and mother and sister, please, I need the entire world to see us in the street" voting.

Morsi's removal had ushered in a deadly crackdown that killed and jailed hundreds of Islamists.

The initial crackdown on Morsi's supporters expanded to include liberal and leftist secular activists

A jihadist insurgency since has killed hundreds of policemen and civilians.

Sisi gave the armed forces and police a three-month deadline in November to wipe out the Islamic State group in its Sinai Peninsula stronghold.

The deadline has since been extended, and on February 9 the armed forces launched their most comprehensive campaign yet to end the five-year-old jihadist insurgency.

But attacks by the jihadists have continued.

On Saturday, two policemen were killed in a car bomb targeting the provincial head of security for the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. The security chief was unharmed.

Egyptian cities, especially Cairo, have been flooded with banners showing Sisi and messages of support from business owners.

Posters vowing support for Moussa, 65, are rarely seen.

While still popular, Sisi has embarked on tough economic reforms that have been welcomed by foreign investors but dented his popularity at home.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More