Trump congratulates Egypt's Sisi after dubious vote

Abdel-Fattah Al-Sis

"The election was an epic of love dedicated to Egypt", said head of the election commission, Lasheen Ibrahim.

In a brief victory speech broadcast Monday evening on state television, Sisi sent "greetings, appreciation, and respect" to Egyptians.

Invalidating votes are seen as safe ways to protest against President Sisi, who has overseen a sweeping crackdown on dissent since assuming office in 2014.

Sisi's only challenger and al-Ghad Party chief Moussa Mostafa Moussa were able to get only three percent of vote share.

El-Sissi's backers say he has re-established security in Egypt after the unrest that followed the 2011 uprising, which forced longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak out of power.

At a press conference in Cairo on Monday, the NEA said 24,254,152 citizens voted in the elections at home and overseas out of more than 59 million eligible voters, representing a turnout of 41.5 percent, according to Al Ahram.

According to Egyptian state media, US President Donald Trump called el-Sissi to congratulate him on his victory.

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"I promise that I will remain faithful to my pledge with you, to be honest in my work for the sake of the greatness of our great homeland, and to build up its institutions with all the strength and determination I have and to achieve development and stability", President Sisi said in a televised speech. In the 2012 and 2014 elections, images circulated on social media showed one voter who wrote in "My vote is for you, Batman".

Opposition groups had called for a boycott of last week's vote which they labelled a facade.

Since the campaign was launched, more than 100 jihadists and at least 22 soldiers have been killed, according to official figures.

Since his election, he has imposed tough economic reforms that have been welcomed by foreign investors but sent inflation skyrocketing.

"The United States values its strong partnership with Egypt and will continue to work to advance our shared objectives", spokesperson Heather Nauert said after Sisi won a second term with 97% of the vote.

The Egyptian security forces have killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested thousands of suspects during the country's anti-terror war.

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