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Egypt: Large fines for those who do not vote

30 March 2018

Egyptians voted on Wednesday on the third day of a presidential election guaranteed to give a second term to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, leaving turnout as the only contest.

Sisi's sole challenger was the little-known Moussa, himself a supporter of the president, who registered immediately before the close date for applications, saving the election from being a one-horse race.

Initial estimates by state media placed turnout at around 40 per cent at most, well below the 47 per cent in the vote that brought Sisi his first term in 2014.

Most Egyptians who voted for Sisi expressed their belief in him as a saviour from Islamist radicalism of the now blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group and trust in his leadership of the country for eradication of terrorism and for further security, stability and development.

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Egyptians began voting on Monday in a presidential election set to deliver an easy win for incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, with turnout the main focus after all serious opposition withdrew complaining of repression.

"The voice of the Egyptian masses will undoubtedly bear witness to the fact that our nation's will imposes itself with a force that knows no weakness", el-Sisi said on Twitter.

After counting the ballots, the results will be sent to the National Elections Authority which will announce the final results on April 2.

A Reuters correspondent made the journey with one voter and spoke to three others who said they took the money.

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"There are a total of 3,930 voters on this roster at our polling station and 1,409 voters of them cast their ballots in the past three days", said the head of a polling station in Cairo.

Tuk-tuks drove voters to cast their ballots and after returning to the office they were reportedly given payments of 50 pounds or two pound sterling.

The former military commander overthrew Islamist Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, during turmoil in 2013 that followed a popular uprising two years earlier. In a nearby polling center, the turnout reached 34 percent, according to figures provided by judges there.

"But I know the enormous popularity of President Sisi", he said.

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The National Election Authority said in a statement Wednesday it will enforce a law penalizing boycotters with a fine of around $30.

Egypt: Large fines for those who do not vote