Just as predicted, Egypt’s former military chief, Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi has won the country’s presidential election by a landslide.
Provisional results show he gained over 93% of the vote with ballots from most polling stations counted.
Egyptians cheered and waved flags on Thursday to celebrate the victory as the General, who toppled Egypt’s first freely elected leader, joins a long line of leaders drawn from the military.
Judicial sources said that Sisi captured 92.2% of votes cast in more than 50% of polling stations. His only rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, gained 3.8% while 4.2% of votes were declared void.
Newspaper headlines on Friday morning heralded Sisi’s victory, writing “Sisi takes the throne” and “Sisi sweeps to victory.”
Fireworks erupted in Cairo when Sisi’s results began to emerge. His supporters waved Egyptian flags and sounded car horns on the crowded streets of the capital.
Celebrations continued until morning when people gathered and celebrated the apparent victory.
Voter turnout was 44.4% of Egypt’s 54million voters. That would be less than the 40million votes, or 80 percent of the electorate, that Sisi had called for, but for Sisi supporters on the streets of Cairo, his victory still heralds a bright new era.
“It will change 180 degrees in Sisi’s era. We were living in anxiety in our homes and on the street with robberies and carjacking. There was real anxiety. Now God will calm the situation with Sisi in the picture”, said one of the jubilant supporters.
In a country polarized since the revolt against Hosni Mubarak, many Egyptians said voters had stayed at home due to political apathy, opposition to another military man becoming president, discontent at suppression of freedoms among liberal youths, and calls for a boycott by Islamists.