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‘Time for work,’ says Al-Sisi in post-victory address

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President-elect to be sworn in Sunday after lopsided victory

An Egyptian woman holds a portrait of ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as she celebrates in Cairo's Tahrir Square on June 3, 2014 after Sisi won 96.9 percent of votes in the country's presidential election. Sisi urged his countrymen to work to restore stability and achieve "freedom" and "social justice", in a speech after he was declared winner of last week's election.  (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)

An Egyptian woman holds a portrait of ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as she celebrates in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on June 3, 2014 after Sisi won 96.9 percent of votes in the country’s presidential election. 
(AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)

Minutes after officially being as announced as president of Egypt, former Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi addressed the nation in a televised speech on Tuesday night, declaring it is now “time for work.”

Al-Sisi was elected president by 96.9%, totaling 23,780,104, beating the only other contender, Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahy.

Thousands gathered amid heavy security in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Tuesday night to celebrate Al-Sisi’s victory, while listening to the official election results over loudspeakers.

Al-Sisi will be inaugurated in front of the General Assembly of the Supreme Constitutional Court at 10 am on Sunday morning at the Court’s headquarters in Maadi, reported MENA. Interim president Adly Mansour, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlab, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and Pope Tawadros II are all expected to attend.

In his address, the president-elect thanked Sabahy, saying that his  opponent “has provided a serious opportunity for choice” during the elections. He called on him to keep working on achieving the peoples’ aspirations.

Al-Sisi also thanked the over 25 million people who voted in the presidential elections. He went on to express gratitude to the armed forces and police for their efforts in securing the elections, and his gratitude for media outlets that “documented” the electoral process.

Sabahy reaped 3.09% of votes, a total of 757,511 ballots. Al-Sisi’s presidential campaign announced on its official Facebook page that Sabahy congratulated Al-Sisi on his victory by phone on Tuesday.

“The future is a clean page,” Al-Sisi said. “We can fill it whichever way we want. We can fill it with bread, freedom, social justice and dignity.”

Al-Sisi stressed his faith in the people’s awareness of the threats facing Egypt. He added that the achievement of most of the ‘roadmap’ is the result of the peoples’ “sacrifices during the 25 January revolution and the 30 June revolution.”

Al-Sisi announced a transitional roadmap after declaring the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi last July. The roadmap was launched with the passing of a new constitution in January, with the presidential elections marking the second step. Parliamentary elections are expected in six months.

The Field Marshal’s victory had been widely expected, after becoming a household name in July 2013 when he announced Morsi’s ouster.

On Thursday, several international observation missions presented their preliminary findings and condemned the climate surrounding the elections. Although slated to run for only two days, the elections were extended for a third, a move criticised by both local and international groups. It is speculated that the extension was a result of the low voter turnout on the first two days.


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