Egypt elections: El-Sisi officially wins 2nd term with 97% of votes

03 April, 2018, 04:42 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Sisi poised to declare landslide victory in Egypt election

Egypt's election authority confirmed on Monday that President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi had be re-elected for another four-year term in office. The Egyptian leader faced virtually no real competition and won 97 percent of the vote.

Other, more heavyweight would-be challengers were all sidelined, detained or pulled out.

On Monday, the National Elections Authority (NEA) declared incumbent President El-Sisi the victor of Egypt's 2018 presidential elections with 97 percent of valid votes in an electoral process that witnessed the turnout of 24 million out of 59 million eligible voters, or 41 percent.

In a brief victory speech broadcast Monday evening on state television, Sisi sent "greetings, appreciation, and respect" to Egyptians.

The authority said the number of invalidated ballots was 1,762,231 or 7.27 percent of total votes cast.

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"President Trump offered his honest congratulations for President El Sisi's success in the presidential elections, wishing Egypt progress and prosperity", el-Sisi's office said in a statement Monday.

Earlier the State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. "will continue to work to advance our shared objectives" with Egypt, despite its concerns over political freedom.

The State Department earlier noted 'reports of constraints on freedoms of expression and association in the run-up to the elections'.

Then, turnout was about 47 percent - but only after election officials agreed to extend the vote into a third day.

Last month, Trump came under intense criticism from lawmakers after saying he congratulated Putin on his win at the polls.

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"The election was an epic of love dedicated to Egypt", said Lasheen Ibrahim, the head of the election commission, who announced the official results in a televised news conference.

El-Sisi was first elected as president in 2014, a year after leading a military coup as the army's Chief of Staff that overthrew Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The NEA previously decided that eligible Egyptian citizens who abstained from voting in the presidential election would be fined 500 Egyptian pounds (about $28).

Opposition groups had called for a boycott of the week's vote which they labelled a charade. Since then, authorities have waged a sweeping crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of Islamists and several prominent secular activists.

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.

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