Sisi likely to win landslide victory as polls wrap up in Egypt

Staff members count ballots at a polling station in Cairo, Egypt.
Staff members count ballots at a polling station in Cairo, Egypt, on March 28, 2018. Egypt's 2018 presidential election came to an end on Wednesday, as the polling stations closed nationwide at 10 p.m. local time. (Xinhua/Meng Tao)

Polling stations in Egypt closed Wednesday at 10 p.m. local time (0800 GMT) , bringing an end to the three-day presidential elections which kicked off on Monday.

Incumbent President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is expected to make an easy win on his sole rival, a little-known politician, for a second four-year term.

The Egyptian leadership seeks a high voter turnout as a sign of popular support for President Sisi's reelection and the people's confidence in his leadership for a better future.

On March 19, the most populous Arab state wrapped up the three-day voting process of Egyptian expatriates in about 124 countries across the world.

Nearly 60 million Egyptians out of the country's 104 million population are eligible to vote in some 13,700 polling stations nationwide.

Judge Yossif Jamal, head of Hadayek al-Maadi polling station in Cairo told Xinhua the turnout in his station was medium, adding that it increased notably on the third day.

"Around 25 percent of voters in this station cast their votes," he said, adding that during the three days of elections the polling station witnessed a medium voter turnout, with mostly women and old people approaching the ballots.

The judge said the percentage registered at this station could not be an indication as many stations across the country witnessed a high turnout that exceeded 50 percent.

"After counting the ballots, the results will be sent to the National Elections Authority which will announce the final results later next week," he pointed out.

The election's final result will be announced on April 2, according to the National Election Authority.

Right after polling stations were closed, President Sisi hailed the Egyptians for participating in the elections.

"The scenes of the Egyptians before the polling stations will remain sources of honor and pride for me, and a shining proof of the greatness of our nation," Sisi posted on his Facebook page.

The polls are held amid intense security presence and tight security measures taken by the army and the police around polling centers throughout Egypt.

Voters cast their ballots at some 13,706 polling stations nationwide, with about 18,000 judges overseeing the voting process that is also monitored by at least 53 local organizations and nine international ones, besides more than 680 foreign reporters.

Hours before the election kicked off, the police announced the killing of six terrorists during a raid in Beheira province north of the capital Cairo.

The interior ministry said the terrorist cell was involved in Saturday's car bomb attack in the nearby coastal province of Alexandria that killed two policemen and wounded at least four others.

Terror activities in Egypt have killed hundreds of security men and civilians since the military toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently outlawed Brotherhood group.

The country's elections authority announced on Wednesday that the governorates of Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, and North Sinai, which suffer the most from terrorist attacks, witnessed the highest voter turnout throughout the three days of elections.

 

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