Sisi takes 93% of the vote in election marred by dismal turnout

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A girl stands looking as polling station officials count ballots in the Egyptian capital Cairo on May 28, 2014 at the end of voting in the presidential election. (Photo: AFP - Marwan Naamani)

Published Thursday, May 29, 2014

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the general who toppled Egypt's first freely elected leader, took more than 90 percent of the vote in a presidential election marred by a dismal turnout, provisional results showed on Thursday, as he joined a long line of leaders drawn from the military.

A low turnout figure raised questions about the credibility of a man believed by some to be the country's savior.

Sisi won 93.3 percent of votes cast, judicial sources said, as counting neared its conclusion after three days of voting. His only rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, gained 3 percent while 3.7 percent of votes were declared void.

Turnout was 44.4 percent of Egypt's 54 million voters, judicial sources said, less than the 40 million votes, or 80 percent of the electorate, that Sisi had called for last week and also less than the 52 percent turnout Mursi won in 2012.

"We are now divided with the turnout," said Tarek Awad, 27 and unemployed, celebrating Sisi's victory in Tahrir on Thursday morning. "If about half of voters wanted Sisi, the other half don't want him. What about them?"

The stock market, which fell 2.3 percent on Wednesday as some players said the turnout was a disappointment, was down a further 0.9 percent by late morning on Thursday. On the black market, the Egyptian pound weakened slightly.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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