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Egyptians protest after Sisi election victory

Hundreds rally after former army chief wins landslide victory in poll EU observers said was "in line with the law".

Last updated: 31 May 2014 05:02
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Protests have been taking place in cities across Egypt, days after the country elected former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi its president in a vote his sole contender has appealed.

On Friday, demonstrators took to the streets in the capital Cairo, Bani Suef and Fayoum, holding banners with photos of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi and chanting against the president-elect.

Preliminary results from the three-day election that ended on Wednesday gave 96 percent of votes to Sisi and 3 percent to leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.

Sabahi's campaign said in a statement on Friday it had made a legal complaint to the elections committee objecting to "the existence of campaigning inside polling stations" by Sisi supporters, among other abuses.

It also appealed to the committee to nullify all votes cast on the third day of polling.

Authorities extended voting by one day at the last minute on Tuesday, an extraordinary measure that observer missions said raised questions about the integrity of the electoral process although it was not an illegal move.

Low turnout

Despite Sisi's victory, the vote was seen as a blow to the military establishment, because of its low voter turnout, a fact noted by European Union observers.

Inside Story - Will Sisi's victory give him credibility?

An EU team that monitored the presidential election said the vote was conducted "in line with the law", although it regretted the lack of participation of some "stakeholders".

EU officials said the election was held in a "peaceful and calm manner" with "only minor procedural problems and a limited number of violations".

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, blacklisted by the military-installed authorities as a "terrorist" organisation, had called for a boycott of the election.

Sisi's opponents say Egypt has returned to autocratic rule since he deposed Morsi. More than 1,400 people have been killed in street clashes and thousands imprisoned in a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.

The poll was criticised by the US monitor Democracy International, which said “Egypt’s repressive political environment made a genuinely democratic presidential election impossible.”

Interim President Adly Mansour, installed by Sisi last July, said on Thursday that turnout was 46 percent, proclaiming it showed "a broad consensus".

386

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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