World Bulletin / News Desk
Prominent Egyptian leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi on Thursday conceded defeat in the country's presidential election that wrapped up late Wednesday, saying he respected the choice of the people.
Sabahi, who won only 3.3 percent of the vote, added that he had agreed to run in the election based on his belief that Egyptians had the right to choose between more than one candidate.
"Egypt isn't about one opinion or choice," he said at a press conference in Egyptian capital Cairo. "The country we know is one where people have differences of opinion, but in a constructive manner."
A few hours earlier, preliminary indicators showed Sabahi's rival, resigned defense minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, winning more than 96 percent of the vote in a presidential poll that started on Monday.
The presidential election commission said 47 percent of registered voters had turned out to vote. But Sabahi cast doubt on the official figures, which were announced through the early hours of Thursday by judges monitoring the vote.
He also cited alleged violations that he said marred the polls.
Sabahi, who came third to ousted president Mohamed Morsi in 2012 presidential elections, said supporters had voted for him at certain polling stations at which he was later reported to have received no votes.
Sabahi said the conditions in which the election was held were not conducive to a fair electoral process.
He referred to a biased media, an executive branch that worked on behalf of his rival and the latter's abundance of campaign funding.
"We could have had the best election, but without these violations," Sabahi said.
He said some of his representatives had been banned from entering polling stations, while others had been arrested. Sabahi also said there were suspicions that the vote had been rigged in al-Sisi's favor.
"These poll results insult the intelligence of the Egyptian people," Sabahi said.
But while he admitted the irregularities had not greatly influenced the election results, he said he was nevertheless keen to mention them as he was keen to protect Egypt's interests in the future.
He said he was mentioning them in the hope that what he described as the "legacy of despotism" would someday end in Egypt.
"We have hopes that we are on the way to having really democratic elections," Sabahi said. "I swear by God that I will continue to fight for the rights and the aspirations of the people of this country."Last Mod: 30 Mayıs 2014, 09:40