29 May 2014

Egypt: Sissi Wins Presidential Vote By Landslide

Photo: Cui Xinyu/Xinhua
Egyptians wave flags during a rally to celebrate the presidential election in Tahrir Square, Cairo.

Former Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has won a landslide victory in his presidential bid against rival Hamdeen Sabahi.

Preliminary results from the three-day extended vote, which ended Wednesday, give Sissi more than 93 percent of ballots cast. Sabahi, who received just 3percent, conceded defeat saying he would "accept the will of the people."

Sissi was all but assured a victory ahead of polls, but had called for a turnout large enough to give him a broad mandate to fix the economy and end the country's political turmoil.

Officials say about 46 percent of Egypt's 54 million eligible voters participated in the poll, less than the 52 percent turnout secured during the 2012 election of Mohamed Morsi.

The European Union mission said the election was held in a "peaceful and calm manner" with "only minor procedural problems" like campaigning near polling stations.

The Muslim Brotherhood urged a boycott of the vote, accusing Sissi and his allies of "frauds and tricks." It has called a Sissi presidency a continuation of the military takeover of Egypt that started last year when the army overthrew the country's first democratically-elected president Morsi.

Morsi and a number of Muslim Brotherhood backers are on trial over the deaths of anti-government protesters.

Sissi says the Brotherhood has no future in Egypt.

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