AFRICANGLOBE – Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has won Egypt’s presidential elections by a huge majority, the country’s election commission has said.
The former military chief, who last July overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, won 96.91 of legal votes cast in last week’s election.
Accepting the result, Sisi urged Egyptians to work to restore stability and achieve “freedom” and “social justice”.
“I look forward to your continued efforts and determination in the coming building phase. You did what you had to do and now it is time to work,” he said on television shortly after the official election result was announced.
Turnout was recorded at 47 percent, lower than Sisi had called for, and despite the voting period being extended from two to three days. Sisi’s only rival in the election, Hamdeen Sabahi, won 3.09% percent of the vote.
The results, and the swearing in on Sunday, confirm the rise of the retired field marshal who has suppressed Morsi’s supporters, promised to restore stability and the economy after three years of turmoil.
Sisi has said it would take 25 years to bring about real democracy, and has spoken out against too many freedoms that cause turmoil, amid an already shrinking space for political activity.
He is expected to be sworn in on Sunday before Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, in front of a large gathering of supporters from across the region.
Shortly after the announcement of the final results of the election, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia hailed the day as “historic” and called for the supporters to help the country.
“To the brothers and friends of Egypt… I invite all to a donors conference… to help it overcome its economic crisis,” he said.
The British foreign secretary, William Hague, congratulated Sisi and said he looked forward to working with the new administration.
However, he urged Sisi to “open up political space, especially with regard to freedom of expression and association”.
“We believe the best way for Egyptians to achieve the goals of the 25 January revolution of 2011 is through an inclusive political process in which all groups can participate.”