President el-Sisi declared victorious in Egypt election

Sisi took 89.6 percent of the vote to secure a third term, with turnout at 66.8 percent, says election authority.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has secured a third term as leader of the Middle East’s most populous nation, officials said, after the counting of votes in the election held between December 10 and 12 was finalised.

Sisi won 89.6 percent of the vote, the National Elections Authority said on Monday.

Turnout reached an “unprecedented” 66.8 percent of voters, said authority head Hazem Badawy.

Over 39 million Egyptians cast their ballots for Sisi, a former army chief who has ruled the most populous Arab country for a decade.

The vote, the result of which was in little doubt, took place as Egypt dealt with various crises, including the Israel-Hamas war in neighbouring Gaza and the country’s worst-ever economic crisis.

No serious opposition

Despite Egypt’s afflictions, a decade-long crackdown on dissent has eliminated any serious opposition to Sisi, the fifth president to emerge from within the ranks of the military since 1952.

Sisi was running against three other candidates, none of whom were high profile. The most prominent potential candidate ended his run complaining that his campaign had been impeded and dozens of his supporters arrested.

Runner-up Hazem Omar, who leads the Republican People’s Party, received 4.5 percent of the vote.

Next came Farid Zahran, leader of the left-leaning Egyptian Social Democratic Party, and Abdel-Sanad Yamama from the Wafd, a century-old but relatively marginal party.

Sisi is now set to serve his third – and, according to the constitution, final – term in office, starting in April.

Tightening grip on power

Sisi came to power after the 2013 overthrow of the country’s first popularly elected president, Mohamed Morsi. He was re-elected in 2018. In both previous elections he won with 97 percent of the vote.

Sisi extended the presidential mandate from four to six years and amended the constitution to raise the limit on consecutive terms in office from two to three.

Under his rule, Egypt has jailed thousands of political prisoners, and while a presidential pardons committee has freed about 1,000 in one year, rights groups say that three to four times that many were arrested over the same period.

His supporters credit him with engineering a return to calm in the country after the chaos that followed the 2011 uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak.

source