Egypt holds 2nd day of presidential election; outcome known

Egyptians head to the polls on Monday but the presidential election this time is not about who wins — that was

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is on way to secure a second term in office as he had won more than 90 per cent votes in Egypt's presidential poll, state-run MENA news agency and al-Ahram newspaper reported.

"The scenes of Egyptians at polling stations will remain my source of pride and honour and a compelling proof of the greatness of our nation, whose most precious sons have offered [their] blood so that we can move together towards the future", he added.

In Cairo's heavily populated, working-class district of Shubra, a trickle of voters, mainly older women, could be seen outside two polling stations.

The election commission announced in the evening that voting was being extended by one hour, to 9.00pm (2100 GMT). "I didn't go to vote by my own free will and I would never for Sisi of my own free will", he said. He secured a landslide victory with 96.91 percent of votes in the 2014 presidential election.

Sisi was first elected in 2014 with 97 per cent of the vote, but with a modest turnout of about 47 per cent.

Sisi overthrew Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

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Ballot-counting kicked off Wednesday evening on the third and final day of the poll - Egypt's third presidential election since its 2011 popular uprising.

Local media, citing preliminary figures, said turnout was about 40 percent. A Western diplomat said that late on Tuesday, turnout was between 15 and 20 per cent, with around 30 per cent in some centres on Wednesday. His sole opponent in the current election, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, was claimed by many to be a "dummy" candidate and was viewed as the government's effort to maintain the appearance of democracy.

Results of this year's vote are expected on 2 April.

"There are a total of 3,930 voters on this roster at our polling station and 1,409 voters of them cast their ballots in the past three days", said the head of a polling station in Cairo.

Managers at a government financial institution gave employees half of Monday off and ordered them to vote, one employee told Reuters. More serious challengers were forced to step down and several opposition politicians called earlier this year for an election boycott.

At a press conference, an election commission official, Mahmud al-Sherif, said there had been no violations of Egypt's election law.

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