As the results come in from Egypt’s presidential election, here’s one thing to keep in mind about the extent of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s staggering margin of victory:
If his margin holds up in the final official results, el-Sisi will have won the election with a larger share of the vote than Egypt’s longtime strongman, Hosni Mubarak in both 1999 (93.79%) and 2005 (88.6%).
That’s all you really need to know about whether this was really a fair election — after months of pre-campaigning designed to paint el-Sisi as Egypt’s national savior and the military-led crackdown on journalists and dissent of all stripes, not just among the Muslim Brotherhood (الإخوان المسلمون) and supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed in July 2013 by el-Sisi, then in his capacity as army chief of staff and defense minister.
But if the margin is impressive, the turnout was not. Amid reports that just 7.5% of the electorate bothered to turn out in the two days in which polls were open, Egypt’s presidential election commission decided to allow voting for a third day, and the military government’s threats to fine non-voters helped boost turnout to around 47.3%, according to government reports (that may or may not be entirely accurate). Continue reading Egypt election results: Egypt has a new pharaoh