General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
CAIRO - Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won 96.91 percent in Egypt's presidential vote last week, the election commission said on Tuesday, confirming interim results that had given him a landslide victory.
But turnout was only about 47 percent of the country's 54 million voters, it said. That was less than the 40 million votes, or 80 percent of the electorate, Sisi had called for.
Sisi gained wide support from Egyptians after toppling President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood last year, prompted by mass protests against his rule.
He now faces staggering challenges in a country where street demonstrations have helped to topple two leaders in three years.
The lower-than-expected turnout raises doubts about Sisi's ability to maintain popularity while attempting to fix a battered economy, ease poverty and prevent further political crises from paralyzing Egypt.
In his first speech since the election, Sisi promised Egyptians a brighter future. But he did not spell out how he would deliver that to the nation of 85 million. So far, Sisi has insisted that hard work would cure Egypt's ills.
"I look forward to your continued efforts and determination in the coming building phase. You did what you had to do and now it is time to work," he said on television shortly after the official election result was announced.
The general, who toppled Egypt's first freely elected president, also described the future as a blank page that must be filled with bread, freedom, human dignity and social justice.
Those same slogans were uttered in the 2011 popular uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak and raised hopes of a democracy free of influence from the military.