Egypt’s Sissi urges big voter turnout, denies sidelining rivals

CAIRO — Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi urges Egyptians on Wednesday to vote in next week’s election to show they are in charge, a day after he denied any role in excluding his rivals.

The incumbent will run in the March 26-28 vote against a sole candidate whose half-hearted campaign poses no threat, after more heavyweight rivals were sidelined or detained.

“I need you because the journey is not over,” Sissi tells a mostly female audience in a speech. “I need every lady and mother and sister, please, I need the entire world to see us in the street” voting.

“Even if they vote ‘no.’ It’s still a big deal and a respectable thing which will be implemented… We should affirm to the world that this country is ruled by its people.”

The former army chief was first elected in 2014, a year after ousting his predecessor Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against the Islamist president.


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi attending a military ceremony in Paris in October 2017. (AFP/Pool/Charles Platiau)

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