Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected as Egypt’s president with 97 percent of votes, the exact proportion that brought the former military commander his first term four years ago, Egypt’s election commission announced on Monday.
Also on Monday, US President Donald Trump expressed his “sincere congratulations” to Sisi in a call, Egypt’s state news agency MENA reported.
Trump said in the call that the United States was keen on strengthening strategic relations and continuing to coordinate on key issues, MENA reported.
The Egyptian leader’s reported share of the vote increased by five percent from preliminary results released last week.
However, turnout in last week’s election was lower than in 2014, at 41 percent.
Sisi had long been virtually guaranteed victory after all serious opposition pulled out of the contest earlier this year. Others were arrested or threatened with being discredited.
Some 23 million of the 60 million registered voters turned out during the three days of polling that ended on Wednesday, state-owned newspapers al-Ahram and Akhbar el-Youm, and the official MENA
According to al-Ahram, two million voters spoiled their ballot papers, inserting the names of candidates who were not among the only two approved.
Sisi ran virtually unchallenged after the other serious candidates were arrested or pulled out.
Sisi’s only opponent, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a Sisi supporter, gained 721,000 votes, al-Youm and al-Ahram reported.
Moussa initially came in third place after Sisi and spoiled ballots, but was later awarded 3.1 percent of the vote on Friday, Egyptian media reported.
Opposition groups had called for a boycott of the week’s vote which they labelled a charade.
There were no public debates during the election, which came after five potential opponents were blocked from getting on the ballot.
Moussa, a little-known politician who is himself a supporter of the president, registered immediately before the closing date for applications, saving the election from being a one-horse race.
In a push by authorities for a higher turnout last week, voters were given 50 to 100 Egyptian pounds ($3 to $5), or even a box of food or amusement park tickets to encourage them to vote.
In Cairo, two campaigns –[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“For the love of Egypt” and “We are all with you for the sake of Egypt”[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]– were backed by the Ministry of Youth and In the Support of Egypt Coalition, the majority parliamentary bloc.
After four years that have seen the repression of protests and social movements, many Egyptians told Middle East Eye that they did not see the point in voting in an election that was long ago settled.
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