Egypt’s former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was officially declared the next president Tuesday, winning elections to replace the Islamist leader he removed from the post last year. The Election Commission announced the results of last week’s election, saying al-Sisi won a landslide victory with 96.9 percent of the vote, with turnout of 47.45 percent. Al-Sisi garnered 23.78 million votes, while his sole rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, got 318,000 — lower than the 1.4 million invalid ballots cast in the polling. After the announcement, several hundred people gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square set off fireworks, cheered and sang pro-military songs.
Al-Sisi’s victory was never in doubt, but the career infantry officer had pushed for a massive turnout as well to bestow legitimacy on his ouster last July of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the ensuing crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist supporters.
“It’s a historic moment for the Egyptian history and for Arab nations’ history,” said Karem Mahmoud, head of el-Sissi campaign, told state TV.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, a major backer of el-Sissi and a relentless opponent of the Brotherhood, quickly congratulated him and said his victory would mean an end to the turmoil of the past three years since the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in a 2011 popular uprising.
Full Article: Egypt’s Ex-Army Chief Declared New President | TIME.