Egyptians voted on Monday in the second and penultimate day of a presidential election in which Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to sweep to a third, six-year term amid a grinding economic crisis and war on Egypt’s border in Gaza.
Authorities and commentators on local media have been urging Egyptians to vote out of national duty.
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Crowds of voters, some of them arriving on buses, have appeared at polling stations where patriotic music is blasted through loudspeakers, though other polling stations observed by Reuters reporters appeared quiet.
Plainclothes police have been heavily deployed.
The National Election Authority said turnout on the first day of voting on Sunday had been high.
“Voting is our duty and it is the least we can do for country especially during these critical times and with the developments happening around the world,” said Passant Tarek, a 27-year-old dentist casting her ballot in Suez, 125 km (78 miles) east of Cairo.
Egypt’s fast-growing population of 104 million is struggling with soaring prices and other economic pressures, though headline inflation has dipped slightly from record levels, reaching 34.6 percent on Sunday.
Some voters say that, while they had to find ways to adjust to rising prices, it was only al-Sisi and the military that could provide security.
Some also complain that the state has prioritized costly mega-projects while taking on more debt, though others express admiration for the vast network of roads and bridges built in recent years and a new capital city under construction in the desert.
Voting runs from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. (0700-1900 GMT) and concludes on Tuesday, with results due to be announced on December 18.
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