Sabbahi: I respect Egyptians’ choice, admit my loss in election
Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi press conference - YOUM7/ Hussein Tallal
By NOURHAN MAGDI

CAIRO: Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said in a Thursday press conference following the end of the presidential election Wednesday that he respects the Egyptians’ choice and admits his loss in the election.

“To all who voted for any of the candidates or boycotted, I respect your votes,” Sabbahi said. Many local NGOs and elections monitoring missions reported low turnout during the three days of elections. Preliminary indications widely circulated on news websites show a sweeping win for candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

“We witnessed during this election what we consider a harmful environment for the freedom of choice, as it lacked factors of impartiality and neutrality from executive authorities and media,” Sabbahi said.

Regarding the violations his campaign allegedly spotted, Sabbahi said in a video released Wedneday that many of his representatives were prevented from entering their polling stations, and others saw “mass forgery.” He added that complaint reports were submitted to official authorities, but they had not yet responded.

Still, he added Thursday, “I will accept the final results despite the violations we faced.”

“We will still fight for the sake of justice, freedom and national independence,” Sabbahi added. “I say to our partnership of parties, we started a democratic path and we will continue it.”

Also, acknowledging that many people asked him to withdraw from the election after the decision of the High Presidential Elections Committee (HPEC) to extend the vote until Wednesday, Sabbahi said in his Thursday speech, “We did not withdraw from elections for the sake of the nation.”

“I hope God enables the president to fulfill Egyptians’ hopes,” he continued. “We will be together against terrorism and violence in Egypt.”

He also directed a word to the youth members in his campaign saying, “I am proud of you and trust your capabilities.”

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