Egypt's Sisi cruises to victory but with lower turnout

Saul Bowman
March 30, 2018

Preliminary results show President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is leading Egypt's presidential election with 21.5 million votes, state-owned newspaper Akhbar el-Youm reported.

In Daqahliya, one of the country's most populated governorates, El-Sisi received 85 per cent of the vote, with nearly 47 per cent of eligible voters casting their running against a sole challenger, Ghad Party head Moussa Mostafa Moussa.

Almost 60 million Egyptians are eligible to vote at some 13,700 polling centers.

At the last election in 2014, turnout was 47 per cent, although el-Sisi won 97 per cent of the overall vote.

His sole challenger, the little-known centrist politician and al Ghad party chief Moussa Mostafa Moussa, is estimated to have obtained 3 percent of the vote.

Megahed went on explaining that the cases were either standing in the voter queues or inside the polling stations, where a lot of them suffered high blood pressure, fever, drop in blood sugar rate, circulatory collapse, or gastrointestinal, foot and back pain.

Ballot-counting kicked off Wednesday evening on the third and final day of the poll - Egypt's third presidential election since its 2011 popular uprising. Official results are due on April 2.

"The scenes of the Egyptians before the polling stations will remain sources of honor and pride for me, and a shining proof of the greatness of our nation", Sisi posted on his Facebook page.

Tuk-tuks drove voters to cast their ballots and after returning to the office they were reportedly given payments of 50 pounds or two pound sterling.

Mahmoud el-Sherif, the spokesman of the election commission, said Wednesday at a press conference that the highest turnout was in Cairo, the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, and in northern Sinai, the epicenter of an insurgency by Islamic militants. In a nearby polling center, the turnout reached 34 percent, according to figures provided by judges there.

'I drive people to their polling stations, wait for them, and then take them back to collect the money, ' said one driver. Even invalid ballots did better than Mousa, accounting for more than 6 percent of all votes cast.

Father Marcus Ibrahim, a Coptic Christian priest who brought his son with him, said the church told worshippers to go and vote without supporting a certain candidate.

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