Africa

Egypt rejects appeal of defeated presidential candidate

Reuters

The country's elections committee says it has dismissed Hamdeen Sabahi's appeal against voting results that gave Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a win.

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi. (Reuters)

Egypt’s elections committee said on Sunday it had rejected a defeated presidential candidate’s appeal against voting results that gave former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a landslide victory.

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi only got 3% of the votes in last week’s elections, according to initial results that showed Sisi in the lead with 93% of votes.

The elections committee’s statement did not give details on its ruling on the appeal. It said the official results will be announced on Tuesday night.

The vote came 10 months after the army ousted elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July in reaction to protests against his rule.

The army-backed government has since cracked down hard on Mursi’s supporters, killing hundreds and jailing thousands.

On Thursday, Sabahi conceded defeat but said the initial turnout figure of over 40% was too high and “an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians”. However, he said he would accept the final result of the vote.

Boost low turnout
Sabahi’s campaign sent a complaint to the elections committee on Friday objecting to what it said was “the existence of campaigning inside polling stations” by Sisi supporters, among other alleged abuses.

It also appealed to the committee to nullify all votes cast on the third day of polling, which was introduced at the last minute on the second day of voting in a surprise move to boost low turnout.

Sabahi came third in the 2012 vote won by Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president who came to power after an uprising in 2011 that ended Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic 30-year rule. – Reuters

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