Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Egypt votes, ex-army boss expected to take power

26 May 2014, 16:15

Cairo - Egyptians have voted for a new president on Monday in an election expected to sweep to power the ex-army chief who overthrew the country's first democratically-elected leader and crushed his Islamist movement.

The two-day election is the first since the frontrunner and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, a move that unleashed the bloodiest violence in Egypt's recent history.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement is boycotting the vote, as are revolutionary youth groups who fear Sisi is an autocrat in the making.

But the 59-year-old retired field marshall is expected to trounce his sole rival, leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi, amid widespread calls for stability.

Polling stations opened at 06:00 GMT for 53 million registered voters, with Sisi arriving early at one in Cairo to cast his ballot amid a throng of jostling reporters and supporters.


"The entire world is watching us, how Egyptians are writing history and their future today and tomorrow," Sisi said as he voted.

"Egyptians must be reassured that tomorrow will be very beautiful and great," he said, as supporters shook his hand and kissed his cheeks.

Many view the vote as a referendum on stability versus the freedoms promised by the Arab Spring-inspired popular uprising that ousted veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Since the revolution, the country of 86 million people has been rocked by sporadic unrest and a tanking economy.

Mubarak's successor, the Islamist Morsi, lasted only a year in power, winning the country's first democratic presidential election only to quickly alienate many Egyptians who held mass rallies demanding his resignation.

"We need someone who speaks in a determined and strong way. The Egyptian people are frightened by this and respect those who are like this," said Milad Hanna, a 29-year-old lawyer, as he lined up outside a polling station in Cairo.

Hanna said he had voted for Sabbahi in the 2012 election that Morsi won, but that he would now back Sisi.

"We need someone strong, a military man," he said.

Terrorist group

Sisi has said "true democracy" would take a couple of decades to achieve in Egypt, and suggested he would not tolerate protests that he said disrupt the economy.

He has also pledged to wipe out the Brotherhood, which had won every election following Mubarak's overthrow after being banned for decades.

The Islamist movement is boycotting the election and said on Sunday it would not recognise the outcome.

"Forgery will never grant legitimacy to a butcher nor will it lessen the determination of revolutionaries," the Brotherhood said in a statement.

The vote, monitored by international and Egyptian groups, is not expected to be marred by widespread rigging.

The Brotherhood, now blacklisted as a terrorist group, has been decapitated in a police crackdown that has killed more than 1 400 people, including an estimated 700 protesters on one day in August.

Morsi himself has been detained and placed on trial.

Hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been killed in militant attacks since Morsi's overthrow, with the deadliest claimed by an al-Qaeda-inspired group based in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Mass protests

The military and police deployed heavily to secure polling stations.

Sisi has called for a high turnout in the election, billed by the military-installed authorities and the West as a milestone toward elected rule in the country.

The presidential poll will be followed by parliamentary elections this year

Sisi's sole election rival Sabbahi, a veteran dissident, has vowed to defend the democratic aspirations of the 2011 revolt.

"We swear to God that symbols of corruption and despotism [from the Mubarak era] will not return," he said on Friday.

Sisi has raised fears that Egypt could see more repression than under Mubarak's regime.

"What tourist would come to a country where we have demonstrations like this?" he asked Egyptian newspaper editors recently.

"You write in the newspapers: 'No voice is louder than freedom of speech!' What is that?"

The interim authorities have justified the overthrow of Morsi by saying the army heeded mass street protests against the Islamist's single year of divisive rule.

The 6 April youth movement, which spearheaded the anti-Mubarak revolt and whose leader has been jailed, has called for a boycott of the election.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...