Standing against no serious opposition, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected with 97 percent of votes, the same proportion that the former military commander secured four years ago for his first term but with a lower turnout, official results showed on Monday.
Turnout was 41 percent, despite efforts to get as many Egyptians as possible to polling stations during last week’s vote.
Sisi had been virtually guaranteed a landslide win, confirmed by early tallies as voting ended on Wednesday.
The election featured only one other candidate – himself an ardent Sisi supporter – after all serious opposition contenders halted their campaigns in January.
The main challenger was arrested and his campaign manager beaten up, while other presidential hopefuls pulled out, citing intimidation.
Sisi said he had wanted more candidates to run and that he had nothing to do with the opposition withdrawals.
The election commission said the vote was held according to the ‘highest international standards of integrity and transparency’ as it read out the results in a televised announcement.
Sisi won 21.8 million votes compared with 656, 534 for his opponent, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, whose tally was less than the 1.8 million spoiled ballots.
“The sight of Egyptian citizens from all walks of society lining up was impressive and inspiring,” Sisi said in a speech to the nation.
Thousands of Egyptians waving flags celebrated the victory in several of the country’s governorates just after the results.
Critics have said the lower turnout is a potential setback for Sisi, who suggested before the vote that he saw it as a referendum on his presidency rather than a genuine contest.
Turnout in the 2014 vote was 47 percent./Reuters