Sisi awaits final figures from poll officials

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IOL pic mar5 egypt al-sisi Reuters Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seen during a news conference in Cairo on May 22, 2013. File picture: Reuters

Cairo -

Egypt's Presidential Election Commission is on Tuesday expected to officially name former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi as the country's next president.

Unofficial results from last week's presidential poll showed Al-Sisi gaining more than 96 percent of the vote, with spoiled ballots outnumbering those cast for leftist challenger Hamdeen Sabahy.

Under the Egyptian constitution, Al-Sisi will be deemed to be president as soon as the results are officially announced. He would only start performing his functions once he takes the oath of office.

No date has yet been set for that ceremony. Election officials have said that 47 percent of voters went to the polls last week.

Voting was extended for an unscheduled third day amid official pressure for a high turnout, considered necessary to lend Al-Sisi legitimacy at home and abroad.

In 2012, 52 percent of voters took part in the presidential elections won by Islamist Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed by Al-Sisi last year in the wake of mass protests.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood condemned the elections as illegitimate and called for a boycott.

A number of youth groups active in the 2011 revolution against long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak also called for a boycott.

International observers said polling appeared to be conducted properly, with only minor violations.

But, amid an ongoing security crackdown that has seen well over 1 000 Morsi supporters killed since he was ousted, the European Union's observer mission expressed concern about the political environment's “limited space for dissenting voices”.

The presidential election is the latest stage on the “road map” set out by the new authorities after Morsi was deposed. Parliamentary elections are also due to begin by mid-July. - Sapa-dpa



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