Egypt's Sisi wins 92 pct of votes in presidential election: initial results

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-29 18:47:42|Editor: ZD
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Staff members count ballots at a polling station in Cairo, Egypt, on March 28, 2018. Polling stations in Egypt closed Wednesday at 10 p.m. local time (0800 GMT) , bringing an end to the presidential elections. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

CAIRO, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Initial results showed that Egypt's incumbent President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi won 92 percent of the votes in the 2018 presidential election, with 23 million Egyptians voting for him, state-run Al-Ahram news website reported Thursday.

According to Al-Ahram, some 25 million Egyptians out of nearly 60 million eligible voters have cast their votes in the three-day election concluded on Wednesday.

The initial results also revealed that Sisi's sole rival in the race, little known politician Moussa Mostafa Moussa, garnered only three percent of the votes.

The voter turnout according to the initial results amounts to over 42 percent.

The vote counting started right after closure of polling centers nationwide at 10 p.m. local time (0800 GMT) on Wednesday.

The final result will be officially announced by the National Election Authority in a press conference Monday.

Sisi came to office in mid-2014, a year after he, as the army chief then, led the military ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

The voter turnout in the 2014 presidential polls, which Sisi won by nearly 97 percent of votes against leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, was about 47.5 percent of some 53.8 million registered voters.

"The scenes of the Egyptians outside polling stations will remain sources of honor and pride for me, and conclusive evidence of the greatness of our nation," Sisi posted on his Facebook page right after the poll closure Wednesday.

Sisi has already been 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.

A couple of possible strong competitors in the presidential race have either withdrawn or been disqualified over violations.

In a state TV interview ahead of the election, Sisi urged all eligible voters to take part in the polls regardless of whom they would vote for, expressing his wish to have had more challengers in the bid.

Government officials, governors, senior judges, lawmakers and public figures referred to voting in the polls as "a national duty" of each citizen who aspires for maintaining the country's security and stability.

Most Egyptians who voted for Sisi expressed their belief in him as a savior from Islamist radicalism of the currently blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group and trust in Sisi's leadership of the country for eradication of terrorism and for further security, stability and development.

KEY WORDS: election