Egypt deploys thousands of troops for election

Egyptian army conscripts stand guard as voters queue up outside a polling station before the start of the first day of the 2018 presidential elections, in Boulaq al-Dakrour neighbourhood in the capital Cairo's southwestern Giza district  ( File, AFP)
Egyptian army conscripts stand guard as voters queue up outside a polling station before the start of the first day of the 2018 presidential elections, in Boulaq al-Dakrour neighbourhood in the capital Cairo's southwestern Giza district ( File, AFP)

Egypt has deployed tens of thousands of policemen and soldiers to protect polling centres across the country as Egyptians vote to elect their president for the next four years.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's victory is a foregone conclusion. His only challenger is Moussa Mustafa Moussa, a little known politician who joined the race in the last minute to spare the government the embarrassment of a one-candidate election after several hopefuls were forced out or arrested.

Authorities hope enough people - there are nearly 60 million eligible voters - will vote in the three-day balloting that started on Monday to give the election legitimacy.

Al-Sisi cast his ballot as soon as the polls opened at 09:00 at a girls' school in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis. Local TV stations showed festive scenes outside polling centres, with women and school children singing.

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