Egypt’s former Army Chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi won 96.9% of the votes in the recent presidential election, the Presidential Election Commission said on Tuesday, almost a year after he overthrew former Islamist President Mohammad Mursi.
Turnout in last week’s election, hastily extended to three days amid fears of low turnout, was 47.45% of Egypt’s 54 million voters, the commission said - less than the 40 million votes, or 80% of the electorate, that Sisi had called for.
Sisi’s rival Hamdeen Sabahi won just 3% of the vote, excluding spoiled ballots.
Following the announcement of the election results, Sisi delivered a televised statement thanking the Egyptian people, judges, the media for their roles during the electoral process.
He also thanked Sabahi, his sole rival, for taking part in the election.
Sisi’s lopsided victory had been certain, with many lauding the retired field marshal as a hero for ending Mursi’s divisive rule in July.
Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, crushed by a massive crackdown following his overthrow and detention, had boycotted the vote.
Sisi now faces a wide array of challenges in a country where street demonstrations have helped to topple two leaders in three years.
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was the first international leader to congratulate Sisi on his election victory.
King Abdullah hailed Sisi’s win as a “historic day” for Egypt, calling for donors a donors conference to help Egypt overcome its economic crisis.
King Abdullah said that Sisi’s sweeping win also represents “a new stage for Egypt,” in a telegram published by SPA state news agency.
Source: Al Arabiya; Reuters; SPA