Egyptian media say election turnout was around 40%

30 March, 2018, 00:15 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Egyptians Cast Votes in Country's Presidential Election

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is garnering a sweeping majority in the presidential election held earlier this week with a vote share of around 90 per cent, preliminary results showed on Thursday.

El-Sisi is running nearly unchallenged after the other serious candidates were either arrested or intimidated, making turnout the main measure of his popularity with Egyptians who are widely expected to award him a second four-year term.

Sisi's sole challenger was the little-known Moussa, himself a supporter of the president, who registered immediately before the close date for applications, saving the election from being a one-horse race.

"The people have chosen their President", the front page of state-run daily al-Ahram said.

El-Sissi won 96.9 percent of the vote in 2014, with official turnout of more than 47 percent.

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Sisi was expected to win a landslide victory in the polls, yet the Egyptian leadership sought a high voter turnout as a sign of popular support for Sisi's administration.

Other tactics have also been deployed, with some voters saying they were paid and given other incentives to cast their ballots.

"The voice of the Egyptian masses will undoubtedly bear witness to the fact that our nation's will imposes itself with a force that knows no weakness", el-Sisi said on Twitter.

El-Sissi's backers say he has re-established security in Egypt after years of unrest, while his critics accuse his government of muzzling dissent, arresting and torturing opponents and curbing press freedom, charges the authorities deny.

After counting the ballots, the results will be sent to the National Elections Authority which will announce the final results on April 2.

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At Saleh Hamad school in Shubra, only 3,500 of 12,000 eligible voters cast their votes by midday, or about 29 percent, polling judges there said.

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

According to non-official figures, 21,088,295 people voted for Sisi in polling stations across Egypt.

"I have only one wish and if it's accomplished, I will be very happy", said Ashraf Ahmed, a 50-year-old ceramic sculptor smoking a shisha in a cafe.

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