Incumbent Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was re-elected for a third term in office on 18 December, with 89.6 percent of the vote amid a turnout of 66.8 percent, announced the National Elections Authority (NEA).
Over 39 million and 702 thousand Egyptians voted for Sisi out of a total of about 44 million and 777 thousand votes. The number of eligible voters sat at a little over 67 million, with turnout at 66.8 percent.
The landslide victory, which was largely expected, mirrors his previous election victories in 2018 and 2014 – receiving 97 percent of citizens’ votes both times.
His electoral rivals – Hazem Omar, Farid Zahran, and Abdel Sanad Yamama – collected 4.5 percent, four percent, and 1.9 percent of the vote respectively.
This marks Sisi’s third consecutive term in office, serving as head of state until 2030.
DIDN’T SISI ALREADY RUN FOR A SECOND TERM?
The Egyptian president was first sworn into office on 8 June, 2014, but came into power as the de facto leader of the country during the 30 June Revolution in 2013.
Sisi was sworn into office for a second term on 3 June, 2018 after winning the 2018 presidential election by 97 percent of votes.
Prior to 2019, Sisi’s second election victory would have marked his last term in office. However, a constitutional amendment legislated by Egypt’s House of Representatives following a positive popular referendum extended the presidential term from four years to six.
The amendment extended Sisi’s second term from four years to six and allowed him to run for an additional six-year term, prolonging his possible time in office until 2030.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR EGYPT IN 2024?
A large part of Egypt’s political focus during the second half of 2023 centred around Israel’s war on Gaza and the presidential elections.
With Sisi’s victory secured, analysts expect a number of changes to the government’s current structure and changes to economic policies.
A potential cabinet reshuffle was a recent topic of discussion on Egyptian television. Renowned talk show host Amr Adib took to his live show on 16 December to discuss the matter, requesting transparency and communication in advance.
The law permits Sisi to restructure his cabinet before or after his inauguration.
Economically, back-to-back global shocks by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a continuing decline in Egypt’s economy, as the country grapples with foreign currency shortages, parallel foreign exchange market domination, and soaring inflation.
A long-awaited loan package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) appears to be in sight after the organisation’s head of communications confirmed plans to expand the funding from the USD 3 billion (EGP 68 billion at the time) initially agreed in October 2022.
Analysts in leading global investment bank Morgan Stanley believe a government debt restructuring may be on the table – indicating that it may look to deplete reserves upfront to restructure for forward repayments.
Analysts in HSBC, Fitch Solutions, and a poll by Reuters also anticipate a devaluation sometime after elections, with most forecasts seeing the Egyptian Pound falling to 40 to 45 against the US Dollar.The much-anticipated loan review from the IMF is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2024.