Incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is reelected according to a state-owned newspaper (Reuters)
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected for a second term with 92 percent of the vote, Egyptian state media reported on Thursday citing preliminary results.
Some 23 million of the 60 million registered voters turned out during the three days of polling that ended on Wednesday, state-owned newspapers al-Ahram and Akhbar el-Youm, and the official MENA news agency reported.
Read more ►
According to al-Ahram, two million voters spoiled their ballot papers, inserting the names of candidates who were not among the only two approved.
Sisi ran virtually unchallenged after the other serious candidates were arrested and discredited.
Sisi’s only opponent, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a Sisi supporter, gained 721,000 votes, al-Youm and al-Ahram reported.
Moussa conceded his loss on Wednesday night, telling a television station he had hoped for 10 percent of the vote.
“But I know the immense popularity of President Sisi,” he said.
The electoral commission issued a last-minute call for people to vote, hoping to boost the turnout figure that Sisi regards as vital to legitimising his victory. But a turnout rate of less than 50 percent will be seen as disappointing.
A woman takes a photograph next to a statue of Sisi in Cairo (Reuters)
In a push by authorities for a higher turnout, voters were given 50 to 100 Egyptian pounds ($3 to $5), or even a box of food or amusement park tickets.
In Cairo, two campaigns – “For the love of Egypt” and “We are all with you for the sake of Egypt” – were backed by the Ministry of Youth and In the Support of Egypt Coalition, the majority parliamentary bloc.
The initiative, aimed at encouraging people to vote, attracted large numbers of volunteers.
Marianne, a young campaign volunteer, said: “We are at a time of war. We should be all on the same page. You can’t come and say we need to focus on worker’s rights or such stuff.
“There is no time for opposition or different opinion.”
A 24-year-old accountant in Cairo’s middle-class district of Sayyida Zeinab told Middle East Eye that he was rather disappointed that many elderly people were participating in this “sham election”.
“I know that they care about the country, but they are actually doing harm to it by participating in this vote,” said Sherif, who only agreed to give his first name. “We all know that there is no election; we are ruled by an iron fist, and that’s it. There is no hope.
“When the old people vote in this sham election, they will have a hand in all of our suffering under the current regime.”
After four years that have seen the repression of protests and social movements, many Egyptians told Middle East Eye that they did not see the point in voting in an election that was long ago settled.