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EU observers praise Egypt election as 'democratic'

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EU observers praise Egypt election as 'democratic'
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Supporters of Egypt’s presidential winner Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have continued celebrating his landslide victory – but the low turnout has raised questions about his ability to bring change and heal divisions.

The ex-army chief is said to have won 93 percent of votes cast, with counting virtually completed.

But fewer than half of eligible voters cast their ballots.

Monitors from the European Union’s Election Observer Mission (EOM) said the vote had been held in a “democratic and free” environment.

“I didn’t see a real influence of the army on the voting process. The influence was before, was in the events which led to the ousting of President Mursi,” said MEP Robert Goebbels, part of a visiting delegation from the European Parliament.

He added that the vote was not necessarily fair, explaining that self-censorship by the media had led to the support of one candidate in particular.

There had been doubts over the electoral process when voting was extended for a third day.

Al-Sisi’s supporters hope he can deliver stability in the face of an Islamist insurgency, and in a country where street protests helped topple two presidents in three years.

But critics fear he will be another autocrat who will preserve the army’s interests.