Early results in Egypt’s presidential election show former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi heading for an overwhelming victory.
The first results give Sissi about 93% of the vote while the only other candidate, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, has around 3 percent.
Voter turnout was a low 44 percent even after voters were given an extra day Wednesday to cast ballots. Final official results are expected next week.
The Muslim Brotherhood urged an election boycott. It accuses Sissi and his allies of “frauds and tricks.” It has called a Sissi presidency a continuation of the military takeover of Egypt that started last year when the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi and a number of Muslim brotherhood backers are on trial over the deaths of anti-government protesters.
Sissi says the Brotherhood has no future in Egypt.
The Islamist group said Tuesday that Sissi and his allies will not be able to legitimize their actions with “more fraud and tricks.”
Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi is the only other candidate on the ballot. Official results are expected next week.
Political turmoil persisted
Egypt has seen three years of political turmoil since the popular uprising that pushed former leader Hosni Mubarak from power in early 2011. Morsi became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in 2012, but he lasted only a year in office before protesters held mass rallies accusing him of trying to monopolize power and failing to fix Egypt’s economy.
His ouster set off protests from the Muslim Brotherhood and a violent military crackdown that left more than 1,000 people dead. Many of the Brotherhood’s leaders have been arrested, and Sissi has said the group has no future in Egypt.
An army-backed interim government has been overseeing a roadmap for a new constitution and elections for president and parliament. Voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum on the constitution in January. The vote for parliament is expected later this year.
Before Morsi, all of Egypt’s presidents had come from the military ranks. Sissi said that although he has a military background, the army will “not have a role in ruling Egypt.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
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