The Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, is expected to declare a landslide victory after an election in which his only challenger was a supporter of his rule. Preliminary results released last Thursday indicated that roughly 40% of the electorate turned out to vote, with 92% choosing Sisi. On Friday, this was revised to 42%, with Sisi securing 96.9% of valid votes, exactly the same as his last electoral victory in 2014. Mousa Mostafa Mousa, the alternative name on the ballot, whose party previously endorsed Sisi, initially came in third place to spoiled ballots, but was later awarded 3.1% of the vote. Friday’s unexplained revision suggested there were no spoiled ballots at all. Official results were due to be released on Monday afternoon.
Following an election that included no public debates, Egypt’s fragile opposition is hoping that Sisi’s second term will present new opportunities to make their voices heard. Sisi crushed all dissent in his bid to seek a second term in office, with five potential opponents prevented from getting on the ballot. Despite Sisi’s inevitable victory, the race also highlighted discontent at his rule from within the state itself.
“I don’t think Sisi wants any kind of real politics in Egypt,” said Hamdeen Sabahi, a former two-time presidential candidate. “He put politics and politicians under siege. He hates politics. He hates other opinions.”