Egypt election: Sisi secures landslide win

Media caption,
The BBC's Orla Guerin: "The problem for Sisi is that a large number of voters stayed away"

Former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has won an overwhelming victory in Egypt's presidential election, according to provisional results.

He gained more than 93% of the vote with ballots from most polling stations counted, state media say.

Turnout is expected to be about 46% - far lower than Mr Sisi was hoping for as an endorsement. Islamist and some secular groups boycotted the vote.

Mr Sisi's only opponent Hamdeen Sabahi has admitted defeat.

"I accept my defeat and respect the people's choice," Mr Sabahi said in a televised press conference.

However, he also said there were "violations" in the voting process, and rejected the 46% turnout announced by the government, describing it as an "insult to the intelligence of Egyptians".

'Bloody crackdown'

Mr Sisi deposed President Mohammed Morsi last July after mass protests.

He has overseen a bloody crackdown on Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement in which more than 1,400 people have been killed and 16,000 detained.

Media caption,
BBC News profiles Egypt's President-in-waiting, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi

The Brotherhood boycotted the vote, as did many liberal and secular activist groups.

The Islamist movement rejected the vote on Thursday with Tariq Al-Zumur, head of the Construction and Development Party, calling the process a "theatrical play which did not convince anybody".

Analysis, by Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor, Cairo

Supporters of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi started celebrating even before the polls closed in Egypt. His victory was never in doubt. The Muslim Brotherhood, the winner of the last presidential election, is banned. It had urged its supporters to boycott the vote.

Egypt is a troubled country. Its most fundamental problem is the weakness of the economy. It has a big, young, growing population, and not nearly enough jobs to go round. About 40% of the population live in poverty. More than 40% of the poorest Egyptians are illiterate. Healthcare and education don't meet the needs of the people.

Added to that are Egypt's security problems. There have been attacks from Islamist extremists, especially in Sinai. The former Field Marshal Sisi will not want them to escalate into a fully fledged uprising.

No quick fixes exist for the grave structural problems faced by Egypt. But the president-elect needs results. Egyptians have a habit of protest now. If their lives don't get better they they will lose patience with their new president too.

Media caption,
Democracy campaigner Nagy Kamel: "I don't believe these are real elections"

Mr Sabahi secured fewer than 760,000 of the 24.7 million votes counted, and lost out in many regions to a high number of spoiled ballots, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reports.

Hundreds of Sisi supporters took to the streets of Cairo as results emerged, waving Egyptian flags, setting off fireworks and honking their car horns.

Image source, AFP

Egypt's presidential election

  • Ex-army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi secured victory, winning about 93% of the vote with 23.9 million ballots in his favour
  • More than 25 million out of 54 million registered voters took part in the poll, making the turnout about 46%
  • Hamdeen Sabahi, the only other candidate, won just 3% of the ballot with some 756,000 votes, according to state-run media
  • There were about 1.07 million spoiled ballots
  • In 2012, Mohammed Morsi took almost 52% of the votes cast, with some 13 million votes in total
  • Turnout in the 2012 election was about 52%

The military-backed authorities had extended voting to a third day in the hope of boosting turnout.

But reports suggested many polling stations were almost deserted on Wednesday.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Many Egyptians regard Mr Sisi as a strong leader who can deliver stability
Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Supporters of the former general celebrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square in on Thursday

The BBC's Orla Guerin in Cairo says Egypt's new president will inherit a crippled economy, a low-level insurgency and a bitterly divided nation.

He had aimed to win 40 million of 54 million registered votes, to show that he had the support of the majority of Egypt. In the event, it appears about 25 million voted.

Turnout for the previous presidential election between Mohammed Morsi and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq was about 52%.

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