Egyptian president re-elected with 97% of vote

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wins 97 per cent in election with no real opposition

Egyptian president re-elected with 97% of vote

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.

In an official statement, Egypt's presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said El-Sisi received the call from his Russian counterpart during which he congratulated El-Sisi on the "precious trust" given to him by the Egyptian people.

"Following his re-election, we look forward to continuing to work with President Abdelfattah al-Sisi to advance our strategic partnership and address our common challenges", Nauert said.

El-Sisi faced no serious challenger after a string of potentially strong candidates were either arrested or withdrew under pressure, according to The Associated Press.

On Monday, the National Elections Authority (NEA) declared incumbent President El-Sisi the victor of Egypt's 2018 presidential elections with 97 percent of valid votes in an electoral process that witnessed the turnout of 24 million out of 59 million eligible voters, or 41 percent.

The United States and Egypt have long-standing security ties, but those ties have been tested in recent years as Sisi has moved to shut down political debate.

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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.

US President Donald Trump "congratulated" Sisi on his victory in a telephone call, the White House said in a statement that did not mention any worries over the fairness of the vote.

Authorities went to great lengths to boost turnout, using the state's vast resources to get voters out and threatening to fine anyone boycotting the election, whose result was a foregone conclusion.

"The election was an epic of love dedicated to Egypt", said head of the election commission, Lasheen Ibrahim.

Sissi, who as army chief ousted Egypt's first freely elected president - Islamist Mohamed Morsi - after mass street protests in 2013, won his first term in 2014 with 96.9% of the vote.

In an interview days ahead of the vote, Sissi said he had wished there were more candidates, denying any role in sidelining them. Since then, authorities have waged a sweeping crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of Islamists and several prominent secular activists.

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