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Egypt - Presidential Election - 2014

Abdel Fattah el-Sissi was inaugurated June 08, 2014 as Egypt's eighth president, less than a year after he helped oust the country's first freely elected leader, Islamist Mohamed Morsi. Egypt's election commission said 03 June 2014 that Former Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi took nearly 97 percent of the vote in the Presidential race. Turnout was about 47 percent of Egypt's 54 million voters, the commission said - less than the 40 million votes, or 80 percent of the electorate, that Sissi had called for.

Preliminary results from the three-day extended vote gave Sissi more than 93 percent of ballots cast. Officials said about 46 percent of Egypt's 54 million eligible voters participated in the poll, less than the 52 percent turnout secured during the 2012 election of Mohamed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood urged a boycott of the vote.

Election officials said just 35 percent of the 54 million eligible voters cast ballots in the first two days of polls, a significant drop from 52 percent who participated during the 2012 election won by ousted Islamist Mohammed Morsi. A high turnout was seen as key to legitimizing Sissi's long-assumed win. The two-day vote was extended for a third day to allow for more participants. Despite the effort, polling in many areas still was reported low. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood had urged Egyptians to boycott the vote.

Egypt’s election commission announced 30 March 2014 that the first round of the presidential elections would take place on May 26 and 27. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army general who deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July last year, had announced his intention to run and was widely expected to win. The former army general, who toppled Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, faced a leftist politician in the presidential election, as they were the only candidates to enter before nominations closed, the committee organizing the vote said on 20 April 2014.

The committee had received paperwork from former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and former parliamentarian and presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, it said at a news conference several hours after the deadline had passed. Abdelaziz Salman, secretary-general of the Presidential Elections Committee, said that Sisi had submitted 188,930 signatures endorsing his candidacy to the committee, and Sabahi had submitted 31,555. The required number was 25,000. The committee announced the official list of candidates on May 2 for the vote on May 26-27. Sisi, whose popularity had soared since he deposed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood last summer following massive protests, was expected to win the vote easily.

According to a 22 May 2014 Amnesty International (AI) report, more than 1,000 persons missing since the 2011 revolution remained unaccounted for, including dozens of new cases reported during the year. According to AI, security forces reportedly held between 30 and 400 civilians in secret at al-Azouly Prison inside al-Galaa Military Camp in Ismailia. Authorities did not charge the detainees with crimes or refer them to prosecutors or courts and prevented access to their lawyers and families. Local CSOs asserted the continual detention of civilians inside the al-Azouly Prison amounted to enforced disappearance.

There were reports of political prisoners and detainees, although verifiable estimates were not available. The government claimed there were no political prisoners and all persons in detention had been or were in the process of being, charged with a crime. Human rights groups and international observers maintained the government detained or imprisoned as many as several thousand persons solely or chiefly because of their political beliefs or opposition to the government. A local rights group considered any persons arrested under the 2013 demonstrations law to be political prisoners. In their view these persons were political prisoners or detainees because authorities held them based on laws that restricted the exercise of a human right, because charges were false or inflated motivated by the individual’s political opinion or membership in a particular group, or because some individuals faced unduly harsh and disproportionate treatment due to their political opinions or membership in particular groups.

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