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Polls close in Egypt, with Al-Sisi expected to secure 3rd term as president

By RFI
Egypt via REUTERS - THE EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY
DEC 13, 2023 LISTEN
via REUTERS - THE EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY

Polls closed in Egypt on Tuesday evening after a three-day election widely expected to return incumbent president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to power in the Arab world's most populous country.

Government newspaper Al-Ahram reported that the National Elections Authority, which is responsible for organising the poll, recorded an "unprecedented" turnout.

Polling stations closed their doors at 9:00 pm, local time (1900 UT), and the results are set to be announced next Monday.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win by a landslide, despite Egypt being gripped by various crises including the Israel-Hamas war in neighbouring Gaza and the country's worst-ever economic crisis.

Economic crisis

The former army chief is running against three relative unknowns: Farid Zahran, leader of the left-leaning Egyptian Social Democratic Party; Abdel-Sanad Yamama, from the Wafd, a century-old but relatively marginal party; and Hazem Omar, from the Republican People's Party.

For most Egyptians, who have had their savings slashed in an unrelenting economic crisis that started early last year, the cost of living is their top priority.

Annual inflation currently stands at over 38 percent, with the import-dependent economy suffering severe foreign currency shortages after the Egyptian pound lost half its value in a year.

This election would secure Sisi's third – and, according to the constitution, final – term in office.

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