Egypt’s Sisi sweeps presidential poll in landslide victory

Egypt’s former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was declared the winner of the 2014 presidential election on Tuesday with a landslide 96.91% of the vote.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Official results of last week’s vote was announced by the country’s election commission late Tuesday and came as no surprise in a country where the opposition has been severely crushed.

Turnout was about 47% of Egypt’s 54 million voters, the commission said – less than the 40 million votes, or 80% of the electorate, that Sisi had called for.

The results, and the swearing in on Sunday, crown the rise of the retired field marshal, who last summer ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi.

Over the past few months, Sisi has led a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters of Morsi’s Islamist supporters. The former army chief has vowed to restore stability and repair the dilapidated economy after three years of turmoil.

Only opponent already conceded defeat

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, the only candidate to stand against Sisi, conceded defeat last week, but his campaign said in a statement Friday it has made a legal complaint to the elections committee objecting to “the existence of campaigning inside polling stations” by Sisi supporters, among other abuses.

Authorities had extended voting by one day at the last minute, an extraordinary measure that observer missions said raised questions about the integrity of the electoral process although it was not an illegal move.

The measure was designed to increase turnout, with authorities fearing a low level of participation would prevent the winner being handed a strong mandate.

(Geo Urdu with FRANCE 24, AFP, AP and REUTERS)