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Defeated candidate Sabahi contests Egypt election results

AFP (Egyptians stand in front of a wall with posters of presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi near a polling station in Cairo)

The defeated candidate in Egypt’s presidential election, which saw a landslide victory for former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, appealed Friday against the result, saying election rules had been broken.


Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, the only candidate to stand against Sisi, won just 3 percent of votes in the country’s three-day poll, according to judicial sources, compared to 93 percent for the retired field marshal, though official results have yet to be released.

Sabahi conceded defeat on Thursday, but his campaign said in a statement Friday it has 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.

The measure was designed to increase turnout, with authorities fearing a low level of participation would prevent the winner being handed a strong mandate.

Nevertheless, turnout was estimated at just 46 percent. Sabahi had previously questioned the validity of even that modest figure, calling it “an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians”.

The election took place against the background of a crackdown against supporters of Morsi, deposed as president by the army last July, which has seen his Muslim Brotherhood outlawed, hundreds killed and thousands arrested.

Sisi led the overthrow of Morsi after mass protests against his rule. Sabahi came third in 2012 elections that brought Morsi to power as Egypt’s first freely elected leader.


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