CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected with 97 percent of votes, the exact proportion that brought the former military commander his first term four years ago, Egypt’s election commission announced on Monday.
However, turnout in last week’s election was lower than in 2014, at 41 percent.
Sisi had long been virtually guaranteed victory after all serious opposition pulled out of the contest earlier this year.
Preliminary results released last Thursday morning had indicated that roughly 40% of the electorate turned out to vote, with 92% of them choosing Sisi. On Friday, this was revised to 42%, with Sisi securing 96.9% of valid votes – the same as the last election in 2014.
Following an election that included no public debates, Egypt’s fragile opposition is hoping that Sisi’s second term will present new opportunities to make their voices heard. Sisi crushed all dissent in his bid to seek a second term in office, with five potential opponents prevented from getting on the ballot. Despite Sisi’s inevitable victory, the race also highlighted discontent at his rule from within the state itself.
“I don’t think Sisi wants any kind of real politics in Egypt,” said Hamdeen Sabahi, a former two-time presidential candidate. “He put politics and politicians under siege. He hates politics. He hates other opinions.”
Sabahi previously joined with a coalition of other pro-democracy figures to call for a boycott of the vote, but they swiftly found themselves under investigationby the country’s public prosecutor and accused of attempting to overthrow the regime. Another signatory, Abdel Moneim Fotouh, was arrested in a raid on his home.
Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, the nephew of Egypt’s former president who dropped out of the race citing intimidation of his supporters, told the Guardian that Egypt’s president has created antipathy within the state by limiting power to a tight circle of trusted confidants.-Monitring Desk