Early results from Egypt’s election showed President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi headed for a landslide victory with 92 percent of the vote, state media reported Thursday, an unsurprising margin in a race where he eliminated all serious opposition months ago. Mr. Sisi’s token opponent, Moussa Moustapha Moussa, received just 3 percent of the vote, less than the number of spoiled ballots, state media said. With his main rivals in jail or forced from the contest, Mr. Sisi relied on voter turnout to demonstrate his popularity. State media said that about 40 percent of voters cast ballots during the three days of voting that ended Wednesday, down from 47 percent in the 2014 election that formalized Mr. Sisi’s power.
State television said the preliminary results were based on counts in 24 of 27 governorates. It did not say what proportion of the vote had been tallied. Official results are expected on Monday.
Voters were subject to bribes, blandishments and threats in an effort to get them to the polls. Some said they had been promised bags of free groceries or payments of as little as $3 for casting their ballot. Others were lavished with promises of improved municipal services, or tempted with a chance to win a pilgrimage to Mecca.
On Wednesday, the election authority repeated a threat to impose a $28 fine on voters who failed to cast their ballot. Voting was extended by an hour on Wednesday after a sandstorm lashed Cairo, keeping some people from polls, officials said.