" --IANS"
Cairo, March 29 - Egypt's incumbent President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is set to be elected for a second term as he won 92 per cent of the votes in the 2018 presidential election, with 23 million Egyptians voting for him, according to initial results on Thursday.

The state-run al-Ahram newspaper said some 25 million Egyptians out of nearly 60 million eligible voters cast their votes in the three-day elections that concluded on Wednesday.

The initial results also revealed that Sisi's sole rival in the race, Ghad Party head Moussa Mostafa Moussa, garnered only three per cent of the votes.

The vote counting started right after closure of polling centres nationwide at 10 p.m. on Wednesday. The final result will be officially announced by the National Election Authority on Monday.

Sisi came to office in mid-2014, a year after he, as the Army Chief then, led the military ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

The voter turnout in the 2014 presidential polls, which Sisi won by nearly 97 per cent of the votes against leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, was about 47.5 per cent of some 53.8 million registered voters.

The scenes of the Egyptians outside polling stations will remain sources of honour and pride for me, and conclusive evidence of the greatness of our nation, Sisi posted on his Facebook page right after the poll closure.

Sisi was expected to win a landslide victory in the polls, yet the Egyptian leadership sought a high voter turnout as a sign of popular support for Sisi's administration.

A couple of possible strong competitors in the presidential race either withdrew or were disqualified over violations.

Most Egyptians who voted for Sisi expressed their belief in him as a saviour from Islamist radicalism of the currently blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group and trust in his leadership of the country for eradication of terrorism and for further security, stability and development.

--IANS

soni/bg


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