Polls close in Egypt as Sisi cruises toward third win

Polling has closed in Egypt after a three-day election widely expected to return sitting President Abdel Fattah el Sisi to power in the Arab world’s most populous country.

Government newspaper Al Ahram reported on Tuesday that the National Elections Authority, which is responsible for organising the poll, recorded an “unprecedented” turnout.

Polling stations closed their doors at 9:00 pm [1900 GMT], and the results will be announced on Monday.

More than 67 million Egyptians were eligible to vote, with 45 percent of the eligible electorate casting their ballots, the National Election Authority said.

Sisi is expected to win by a landslide, despite Egypt being gripped by various crises, including Israel’s war in neighbouring besieged Gaza and the country’s worst-ever economic crisis.

The former army chief is running against three relative unknowns: Farid Zahran, leader of the left-leaning Egyptian Social Democratic Party; Abdel-Sanad Yamama, from the Wafd, a century-old but relatively marginal party; and Hazem Omar, from the Republican People’s Party.

Annual inflation in the North African country currently stands at 38.5 percent, with the import-dependent economy suffering severe foreign currency shortages after the Egyptian pound lost half its value in a year.

This election would secure Sisi’s third — and, according to the constitution, final — term in office.



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