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Strongman Sisi poised to win Egypt presidency

Published on May 26, 2014 11:49 AM
People walk under an election campaign billboard of presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a day ahead of presidential elections at Talaat Harab Square in Cairo May 25, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

CAIRO (AFP) - Egyptians go to the polls on Monday in a presidential election that ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted the elected Islamist leader, is expected to easily win amid calls for stability.

The two-day election caps more than three years of political turmoil that has seen two presidents ousted following mass protests, thousands killed in clashes and militant attacks, and an economy left in tatters.

Polling stations open at 0600 GMT (2.00pm Singapore time) for 53 million registered voters. Mr Sisi is expected to trounce his only rival, leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, amid calls for a strong leader who can restore stability in the Arab world's most populous country and shore up the economy.

But true democracy, the ideal millions rallied and fought for in a 2011 uprising that overthrew strongman Hosni Mubarak, will have to wait, perhaps for a couple of decades, Mr Sisi has said. Instead, he says he will work hard to restore the economy and fight "terrorism".

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