Egypt election under way with President el-Sissi certain winner


CAIRO, MArch 26: Polls opened on Monday in Egypt’s presidential election with the outcome — a second, four-year term for President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi — a foregone conclusion, in what is seen by critics as a signal of the country’s return to the authoritarian rule that prevailed since the 1950s.
A general-turned-president, el-Sissi is challenged by Moussa Mustafa Moussa, a little known politician who joined the race in the last minute to spare the government the embarrassment of a one-candidate election after several hopefuls were forced out of the race or arrested.
Moussa has made no effort to challenge el-Sissi, who never mentioned his challenger once in public.
Authorities hope enough people — there are nearly 60 million eligible voters — will vote in the three-day balloting to give the election legitimacy.
Among the presidential hopefuls who had stepped forward earlier this year were some who might have attracted a sizable protest vote. But they were all either arrested or intimidated out of the race, making this the least competitive election since the 2011 popular uprising ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak and raised hopes of democratic change.
El-Sissi cast his ballot as soon as the polls opened at 9 am at a girls’ school in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis. He made no comments, only shaking hands with election workers before he left. (AP)