Turnout low as Egyptians wrap up presidential vote

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Egyptians are voting on the final day of an election that is virtually guaranteed to hand a second four-year term to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

"The scenes of the Egyptians outside polling stations will remain sources of honour and pride for me, and conclusive evidence of the greatness of our nation", Sisi posted on his Facebook page right after the poll closure.

Authorities were keen to ensure a higher turnout this time around as Sisi saw attendance at polls as a referendum on his popularity and was seeking a strong mandate to fight militants and push through tough economic reforms.

Voting was extended by one hour, the state news agency MENA reported. Judges supervising the polling centers said that of 7,800 registered voters, some 3,000 cast ballots, or around 38 percent. But initial results from this week's presidential race suggest that the government's full-throttle push to get out the vote - the election's real litmus test - fell short. Turnout in Egyptian elections has never exceeded 47 per cent.

A former defense minister, al-Sisi spearheaded a 2013 military coup that unseated Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president and a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood group.

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There was no official figure for the turnout after polling stations closed, and full results are not expected before April 2.

Lawyer Tariq Mahmoud said in his case that Ibrahim issued a report on the presidential election which he described as non-democratic, claiming it had seen many irregularities and that the turnout of Egyptian voters was very weak. His sole opponent in the current election, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, was claimed by many to be a "dummy" candidate and was viewed as the government's effort to maintain the appearance of democracy.

Some voters interviewed by Reuters over the first two days of polling said they had been offered money, boxes of food, and services to cast their ballots.

At the office of a logistics company in Cairo's working class Ward estate, employees collected national ID cards and informed people where they could vote.

At a press conference, an election commission official, Mahmud al-Sherif, said there had been no violations of Egypt's election law. More serious challengers were forced to step down and several opposition politicians called earlier this year for an election boycott.

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