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Strong enough mandate for Egypt's Sisi?

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 01:58

May 29 - A big win for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt's presidential elections - but a low turnout raises questions among supporters about his credibility as a strongman who can deliver political and economic stability. Ciara Sutton reports.

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Celebrations in Cairo as the presidential election results begin to emerge. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the general who toppled Egypt's first freely elected leader, swept to victory with over 90 percent of the votes. He joins a long line of leaders drawn from the military. For many Egyptians drained from three years of upheaval, he is the man to bring calm. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EGYPTIAN CITIZEN, MOHAMED MAHMOUD, SAYING: "Look at where we were and where we are now. We were on the road to destruction and thank God before our last breath, after a year, we were sent Sisi.'' Sisi ousted former President Mursi last year after mass protests against his rule. But turnout for this election was only 44 percent of Egypt's 54 million voters. Critics ask whether he will take the tough measures needed to restore healthy economic growth, ease poverty and unemployment, or instead prioritise the military. David Buik of Panmure Gordon says there's one clear priority. (SOUNDBITE) DAVID BUIK OF PANMURE GORDON, SAYING: "Persuade the debt markets that is is a stable place to do business. In which case the cost of borrowing will come down substantially. And it's got to persuade people from overseas to do business. In the Arab world, that's not going to be difficult, because they are pretty supportive anyway. But when you are talking about people who can contribute on a much larger basis, particularly China, the United States and Africa, then I suspect the charm machine should wheel in to action." Banned opposition group, The Muslim Brotherhood, with around a million members, has rejected the election. The group, loyal to Mursi, was outlawed by the military as a terrorist group and saw around 1,000 members killed in a security crackdown. On the economic front, Sisi's first challenge may be a widening budget deficit. Aggravated by fuel subsidies, it could cost the country nearly $19 billion in the next fiscal year.

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Strong enough mandate for Egypt's Sisi?

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 01:58