World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's electoral commission on Tuesday declared former army chief Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi the country's new president, saying he received some 23.7 million valid votes in last week's polls.
Commission head Judge Anwar al-Asi said that 25,578,223 out of nearly 54 million eligible voters had cast their ballots in the polls with a voter turnout of 47.45 percent.
Al-Sisi secured 23,780,104 out of 24,537,615 valid votes or nearly 97 percent of the total, al-Asi announced at a press conference in Cairo.
Al-Sisi's sole competitor, leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, received a meager 757,511 votes, representing 3.9 percent of the total valid votes.
Al-Asi said that 25,260,190 had voted in the polls, held on May 26-28 across Egypt's 27 provinces.
He added that 318,033 Egyptian expatriates had cast ballots, 296,628 of which went to the ex-army chief, while Sabahi received only 17,207.
Sabahi failed to surpass the number of spoiled ballots, which the commission put at nearly one million.
According to the law, spoiled ballots are not included in final results and are only calculated in the turnout rate.
Unofficial vote counts released after last week's voting confirmed al-Sisi's domination of the polls, which had been widely seen as a forgone conclusion due to the popularity he was thought to have garnered since the army's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi last July.
Sabahi conceded defeat last week but voiced serious doubt about the turnout figures, which he described as "an insult to the intelligence of the Egyptian people."
He alluded to an apparent surge of voters after the election commission had extended the two-day vote by an extra day, in a move some observers feared would undermine the polls' credibility.
The decision came amid media reports of an unexpectedly low turnout on the first two days of the balloting, prompting interim authorities to take a raft of surprise measures, such as declaring the second day of voting an official holiday and suspending public transport fees to encourage voting.
Judge al-Asi defended the vote extension during his Tuesday press conference, saying 10 percent out of the total voters inside Egypt cast their ballots on the extra voting day.
The electoral commission had initially planned to announce the results on Thursday, June 5.
However, electoral commission member Abdel-aziz Salman later said the announcement would be brought forward so as not to coincide with the anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War – referred to in Egypt as the "Naksa" or "Setback" – in which Egypt suffered a humiliating military defeat by Israel.
In a TV address on Tuesday, al-Sisi thanked Egyptian voters, who had turned out to cast their ballot in the polls, and his main competitor Sabahi for "providing a serious chance for holding democratic election".
Al-Sisi's campaign, meanwhile, said that the former army chief had received a phone call from Sabahi during which the latter congratulated al-Sisi on his electoral victory.
Al-Sisi is expected to be sworn in early next week before the country's Supreme Constitutional Court.
The army-installed interim President Adly Mansour has invited ruling monarchs and heads of state from around the world to participate in an elaborate inauguration ceremony, presidential sources have said.
The presidential polls, the second since Egypt's 2011 uprising, constituted the second phase of an army-imposed transitional roadmap unveiled by al-Sisi in the wake of Morsi's ouster last July.
The vote was widely boycotted by supporters of ousted president Morsi and youth groups opposed to the election of yet another military man as president.
Last Mod: 04 Haziran 2014, 09:40