The Korea Times

Egypt’s leader el-Sissi sweeps vote with 97%


— Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has won a second, four-year term in office, with more than 97 percent of the vote in last week’s election, according to official results announced Monday by the election commission, which put turnout at 41.05 percent.

El-Sissi faced no serious challenger in the March 26-28 vote, after a string of potentiall­y strong candidates withdrew under pressure or were arrested. His sole opponent, little-known politician Moussa Mustafa Moussa, was a supporter of the president who made no effort to challenge him.

Moussa, won less than 3 percent of the vote, and far less than the 1.76 million invalid ballots cast.

In a televised address, el-Sissi thanked voters and promised to work for all Egyptians, saying “those who renewed their trust in me and gave me their votes are no different from those who did otherwise.”

“Egypt is large enough for all Egyptians, so long as our difference­s of opinion do not adversely affect the nation,” said el-Sissi, who has often insisted that the country’s stability must come before the expansion of political freedoms.

Mentioning Moussa by name for the first time since the French-educated politician joined the race in January, el-Sissi thanked him for the “patriotic, honorable and civilized competitio­n” he and his campaign had shown.

Moussa had earlier congratula­ted el-Sissi and defended his decision to enter the race at the last minute, which critics had suggested was aimed at sparing the government the embarrassm­ent of a one-candidate race.

“I only had Egypt in mind,” Moussa said. “Those who criticized me had ulterior motives against the country. They wanted it to be a referendum, but I turned it into a free and open election.”

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