Egypt’s re-elected President says he wishes there were more rivals
State-run newspaper Akhbar al-Youm said that Sisi, who ran against just one other candidate, won about 22 million votes out of a total of 24 million. Official results are scheduled to be announced on April 2.Different preliminary results indicated about 40% turnout out of 59,078,138 registered voters.His only rival for the presidency, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, was accused by Sisi's detractors of being a stooge candidate. The opposition blamed Sisi's government for intimidating or coercing other candidates to pull out, but the President said he was not to blame. Mousa said he was a supporter of Sisi before he decided to run, but insisted that his election campaign was genuine. "It is not my fault. I swear to God, I wished there would have been more candidates for people to choose who they want. But they were not ready yet, there is no shame in this," Sisi said in a recent TV interview. Egyptian authorities arrested former army Gen. Sami Anan in January after he announced his candidacy. Authorities accused Anan of breaking military rules. Several other high-profile candidates said they came under pressure to withdraw from the race. "I was scared that all my campaign representatives might be in a situation where they face a difficult time or are stopped, detained and abused," Mohamed Anwar Sadat, nephew of late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, told CNN. He pulled out of running after facing what he called obstruction. In February, Human Rights Watch accused Egyptian authorities of carrying out "a series of arbitrary arrests" ahead of the elections. This year's presidential race was the third since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in the Arab Spring protests of 2011, throwing the country into political turmoil. In June 2012, political prisoner and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsy, became Egypt's first democratically-elected President.A year later, after violent crackdowns on protesters, Morsy was ousted in a military coup led by Sisi, the chief of the army at the time. In June 2014, Sisi was declared to have won the presidential election with more than 96% of the vote. He has since come under fire by rights groups for clamping down on civil liberties and dissent. Sisi's supporters say he kept Egypt from slipping into further instability during his first four years in power. Egyptian MP Dalia Youssef said she was happy Sisi is likely remain in office: "Egyptians understand that the seven years we've gone through (since the 2011 Arab Spring) were harsh, that we had to go through economic reform and that we're on our way forward and we still have a long way to go."