Saturday, 16 October 2021

EGYPT ELECTION: Voting begins amid low turnout

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Egyptians began voting on Monday in a presidential election set to deliver an easy win for incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, with turnout the main focus after all serious opposition candidates withdrew citing repression.

 

Polls will be open for three days and Sisi, a former military commander, has urged Egyptians to go and vote, hinting that he sees the election as a referendum on his four-year rule.

While many Egyptians see the U.S.-allied leader as vital to stability in a country where unrest since 2011 has hurt the economy, critics say he has presided over Egypt’s worst ever crackdown on dissent and have dubbed the vote a charade.

Abdel Fattah Sisi, who led the military’s overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Mursi in 2013, has cast his bid for a second term as a vote for stability and security.

But a lower-than-expected turnout could suggest he lacks a mandate to take more of the tough steps needed to revive the economy, which struggled after the 2011 revolution drove away tourists and foreign investors.

Early on Monday, dozens of people queued up to vote in and around Cairo, but not in great numbers.

 

 

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