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Low turnout in Egyptian election despite extra day of voting

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Low turnout in Egyptian election despite extra day of voting


Egyptians have been voting for a third day in the country’s presidential elections.

The ballot was extended by an extra day by the country’s military-backed interim government in an effort to encourage a higher turnout, however reports in Cairo have suggested it has failed to boost the number of voters.

Cairo resident Abdellah Ahmed asked why he should “bother to vote because the outcome is a foregone conclusion? Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will win.”

The low turnout threatens to undermine the legitimacy of former army chief, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi who is expected to top the polls ahead of his main opponent, leftist Hamdeen Sabahi.

Eric Bjornlund, Head of the Democracy International observer mission to Egypt said: “Last minute decisions to make major changes in election procedures such as extending the time for voting for an additional day should only be made in extraordinary circumstances. Our 86 accredited observers around Egypt did not see anything that would necessitate an additional day.”

54 million people are eligible to vote with turnout standing at around 37 percent after the first two days of polling.

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