CAIRO: On the first day after the end of the presidential race, the campaign for candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a press release expressing respect for rival candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi.
“We express our sincere appreciation and respect to Mr. Sabbahi. Mr. Sabbahi and his campaign provided a true patriotic model of honest and fair competition,” read the statement published on the campaign’s Facebook page on Thursday.
In a message said to be from the campaign to the “great Egyptian people,” the campaign also highlighted the “positive role” of army and police officers securing the elections, for their containing of some violence from Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
According to the campaign, the media proved “maturity and professionalism” during the presidential election coverage by providing the public with up to date information, backed with pictures and live broadcasts during the different stages of the voting process.
“The achievement of the roadmap requires a national alliance on a common goal, to which everyone should contribute regardless of their affiliation,” the campaign concluded.
On Wednesday evening, early election results showed that Sisi was winning by almost 94 percent of the votes, and final results are to be announced on June 4.
“We accept the results regardless of the violations we have been subject to, and we ask God that the next president is worth the happiness of those celebrating now,” Sabbahi said in a press conference on Thursday.
Egyptians voted for their next president from May 26 to May 28, after the High Presidential Elections Committee (HPEC) extended voting for a third day, amid disapproval from both campaigns.
The decision by the HPEC raised suspicion and controversy, amid fears of non-transparency and claims of the illegitimacy of the extension. Some analysts suggested the government was making major efforts to increase turnout, which was relatively low since the first day of elections.
Nonetheless, official numbers and monitoring NGO’s contradicted such claims, and the HPEC said on Wednesday that turnout reached 47 percent, meaning more than 25 million voters.