CAIRO: Ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was declared Egypt´s president-elect Tuesday, winning 96.9 percent of the vote in an election nearly a year after he toppled president Mohamed Morsi, whose allies boycotted the polls.
Voting last week was extended to three days amid fears of low turnout, which election commission head Anwar Rashad al-Asi said was 47.45 percent at a press conference announcing the results.
Sisi´s lopsided victory had been certain, with many lauding the retired field marshal as a hero for ending Morsi´s divisive rule in July.
Sisi´s only rival, Hamdeen Sabbahi, won just three percent of the vote.
With an economy hammered by years of unrest, Sisi urged Egyptians to “work to return security to this nation,” in a television address after the final results were declared.
“The future is a blank page, and it is in our hands to fill with what we want … bread, freedom, human dignity, social justice,” he said.
Sisi´s appeal mirrored the slogan of the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak, as his critics warned the retired field marshal could impose an even more repressive government.
Morsi´s Brotherhood, crushed by a massive crackdown following his overthrow and detention, had boycotted the vote.
At least 1,400 people, mostly pro-Morsi, have been killed in street clashes with police, and more than 15,000 people have been arrested.
The crackdown has extended to secular dissidents who spearheaded the uprising against Mubarak, with several of their leaders imprisoned for holding protests against the army-installed government after Morsi´s ouster.
The lower-than-expected turnout in the election — Sisi himself had urged more voters to come out — signalled a wide segment of the population was apathetic or boycotted the election. (AFP)
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