Egypt Election: Strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wins with no real opposition

Abdel-Fattah Al-Sis

Abdel-Fattah Al-Sis

Former military commander al-Sisi won 97 per cent of the vote Monday in an election marked by an absence of any real opposition - the only other candidate was himself an ardent Sisi supporter, with serious opposition contenders all pulling out citing intimidation.

U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, on his re-election in a phone call on Monday and reaffirmed the U.S. strategic partnership with Egypt, the White House said.

He ousted President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup and formally assumed power following an equally unlikely 96 per cent showing in a 2014 election. He has since been enjoying wall-to-wall support for his actions against terrorism and for maintaining stability and development.

Despite this, the turnout for this year's race was lower than in 2014 where only 41 percent of voters took part, compared to 47.5 percent previously.

Ibrahim said that Sisi won 97.08 per cent of valid votes in the three-day presidential election.

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.

Sisi ran virtually unchallenged after the other serious candidates were arrested or pulled out.

"The election was an epic of love dedicated to Egypt", said head of the election commission, Lasheen Ibrahim.

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

He also sought to drive up voter turnout in a speech in the run-up to ballot as he urged Egyptians to back his bid for another four years in office.

Morsi's removal had ushered in a deadly crackdown that killed and jailed hundreds of Islamists.

In February Sisi ordered the armed forces launched their most comprehensive campaign yet to end the five-year-old militant insurgency.

But attacks by the jihadists have continued.

Sisi has embarked on tough economic reforms that have been welcomed by foreign investors but dented his standing at home, even though his popularity remains high.

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