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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/29/18

Fabricating a fig leaf of democracy in Egypt: Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wins with 92 percent votes

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Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has won re-election as Egypt's president, according to preliminary results reported by a number of state media outlets, showing el-Sisi winning 92 percent of the vote.

The official MENA news agency and the state-owned newspapers al-Ahram and Akhbar el-Youm said on Thursday that 23 million out of the 60 million registered voters - 40 percent - turned out to cast the ballots during the three days of polling that ended on Wednesday.

Sisi ran virtually unchallenged after the other serious candidates were arrested and discredited. Sisi's only opponent, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, a Sisi supporter, gained 721,000 votes, al-Youm and al-Ahram reported.

The electoral commission issued a last-minute call for people to vote, hoping to boost the turnout figure that Sisi regards as vital to legitimizing his victory. But a turnout rate of less than 50 percent will be seen as disappointing.

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In a push by authorities for a higher turnout, voters were given 50 to 100 Egyptian pounds ($3 to $5), or even a box of food or amusement-park tickets.

According to Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, trucks were seen distributing bags of sugar, cooking oil and rice to people in poor areas.

Official results are due on April 2.

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US-client General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who later assumed the title of Field Marshall, toppled Mohammad Mursi in July 2013. Mursi was the first democratically elected President of Egypt.

According to CNN, observers have widely called the vote a farce, seeing it more as a referendum on el-Sisi than a free and fair election.

Egyptian authorities arrested former army Gen. Sami Anan in January after he announced his candidacy. Authorities accused Anan of breaking military rules. Several other high-profile candidates said they came under pressure to withdraw from the race.

In February, Human Rights Watch accused Egyptian authorities of carrying out "a series of arbitrary arrests" ahead of the elections.

State of Emergency

The presidential election was held under the state of emergency that was extended on January 2 by another three months a nationwide state of emergency, citing security reasons.

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The measure grants the president, and those acting on his behalf, the power to refer civilians to State Security Emergency Courts for the duration of the three-month period.

There is no appeal process for State Security Emergency Court verdicts.

It also allows the president to intercept and monitor all forms of communications, imposing censorship prior to publication and confiscating extant publications, impose a curfew for or order the closure of commercial establishments, sequestration of private properties, as well as designating areas for evacuation.

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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