Three candidates qualified to stand against Sisi in the election, none of them high-profile figures. The most prominent potential challenger halted his run in October, saying officials and thugs had targeted his supporters – accusations dismissed by the national election authority.
Authorities and commentators on tightly controlled local media have been urging Egyptians to turn out to vote, though some people said they were unaware when the election was taking place in the days before the poll. Others said voting would make little difference.
“I was aware there are elections happening, but I had no idea when. I only knew that because of the massive Sisi campaigns around the streets,” said Aya Mohamed, a 35-year-old marketing executive.
“I feel indifferent about the elections because there will be no real change,” she said.
As army chief, Sisi led the 2013 ousting of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, before being elected to the presidency the following year with 97% of the vote.
Since then he has overseen a crackdown that has swept up liberal and leftist activists as well as Islamists. Rights groups say tens of thousands have been jailed.
Sisi and his backers say the crackdown was needed to stabilise Egypt and counter extremism. He has presented himself as a bulwark of stability as conflict has erupted on Egypt’s borders in Libya, and earlier this year in Sudan and Gaza.
Sisi was re-elected in 2018, again with 97% of the vote.