Turnout low as Egyptians wrap up presidential vote | News | DW | 29.03.2018
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Turnout low as Egyptians wrap up presidential vote

Preliminary unofficial results show President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has won a second term. But turnout was not as high as he had hoped, as any serious challengers were banned from standing in the election.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has won the presidential elections in Egypt, according to state media. Official results will not be published until Monday, but reports suggest he garnered more than 92 percent of the vote.

Turnout, however, was low, hovering around 40 percent, according to state media.

After warning people who do not vote they would be fined 500 Egyptian pounds ($30), the election commission extended voting by an hour. Voters had trickled into polling stations as authorities encouraged them to show up in high numbers.

Read moreElection in Egypt: 'el-Sissi is on the side of the autocratic rulers'

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El-Sissi expected to win a second term

After the polls closed on Wednesday evening, el-Sissi issued a statement saying he was proud of the Egyptian people's behavior during the election.

"The voice of the Egyptian masses will undoubtedly bear witness to the fact that our nation's will imposes itself with a force that knows no weakness," he posted on Twitter.

"The scenes of Egyptians at polling stations will remain a point of pride and honor for me and undoubted proof of the greatness of our nation that has offered the blood of its greatest sons so that we can together cross into the future."

Running against a supporter

El-Sissi won his first term in 2014, a year after ousting his Islamist predecessor Mohammed Morsi. He won that election with almost 97 percent of the vote, against a left-wing candidate.

His sole rival is the little-known Moussa Mostafa Moussa, who is himself an el-Sissi supporter.

Some of his serious rivals withdrew, citing restrictions, some were sidelined, others arrested.

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Egypt in the age of el-Sissi

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail urged voters to participate, saying on Tuesday it "is a national duty for all citizens".

Millions registered, few turn out

There were some 60 million people in Egypt who were registered to vote on March 26, 27, and 28.

In the last election in 2014, about 37 percent of voters participated in the two-day election. The low turnout prompted authorities to add a third day to obtain a final participation rate of 47.5 percent.

Opposition groups had called for a boycott of this week's election which they called a facade.

El-Sissi did not appear at any official campaign events and there were no presidential debates. El-Sissi did, however, speak at a number of ceremonies.

In an interview a few days ahead of the vote, el-Sissi had said he wished there were more candidates. He denied having any role in sidelining them.

ng,av/kms (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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