CAIRO: Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is the projected winner of the presidential election, which concluded the third and final day of voting Wednesday, with an estimated 94 percent of the valid vote in the second presidential elections after the January 25 Revolution.
As of Thursday morning, it has been reported that Sisi, 59, got 23,265,306 votes out of 23,999,606 valid ballots although the official results by the High Presidential Elections Commission are scheduled to be announced June 5. His leftist rival Hamdeen Sabbahi got 4 percent after having 734,300 votes.
Only 25,756,678 cast their votes out of 53,909,306, recording 47.7 percent. In election 2012 when the ousted Islamist Mohamed Morsi won in the second round, turnout hit 46 percent; Sabbahi, 59, was also a contender in the first round of these elections and got 20.7 percent.
Sisi’s campaign announced on Wednesday that its representatives focus on vote sorting in each governorate, while Sabbahi’s representatives withdrew Wednesday morning from all polling stations nationwide protesting the HPEC decision of extending the voting for third day due to the low turnout.
The former Minister of Defense, who was the face of the July 3 ouster of Mohamed Morsi, garnered over 94 percent of the expatriate vote, which concluded last Monday. In interviews preceding the elections, he stressed security and stability as his key campaign issues, vowed to listen to the voice of the people, and avoid the mistakes he said were made by the Muslim Brotherhood.
His challenger Sabbahi thanked his campaigners and the youths who supported him. “To all the youths of my campaign, keep your dream. You courageously defended it and paid contently the price. You are the bravest, the noblest, and the most significant. I trust you and I proud of you,” he said on his Twitter account after announcing the initial results on Thursday morning.
Monday’s voting was relatively quiet; protests against the election were in general far from polling stations, and were dispersed quickly. A bomb exploded outside a church in Heliopolis Tuesday, injuring at least one, and shootings were reported outside a polling station in Arish. Full reports from human rights and monitoring organizations, however, are expected to be released in the coming days.
Polling hours were extended by an hour on Tuesday, and the government announced Monday night Tuesday would be a national holiday in order for voters to cast their ballots.
Turnout on Tuesday was lower than expected; a polling station in Dokki told The Cairo Post that out of 7,000 expected voters, only 70 had shown up by 10:30 a.m.
Sabbahi supporters rallied on Tuesday on Twitter with a hashtag translating to “Hamdeen’s Tuesday,” urging those hesitant to go out and vote, but nearly all persons interviewed on television said they had voted for Sisi.
In third extended day of the election, the polling stations saw very low turnout; Judge Mohamed Khairy was shot in Banha, the capital of Qalyubia, while driving to the main polling station to deliver his station’s vote count.