A poster of Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is seen with the words reading "You are the hope", as the country prepares for presidential election in Cairo, Egypt, March 25, 2018. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
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Egyptians head to the polls on Monday but the presidential election this time is not about who wins -- that was settled long ago -- but about how many people bother to cast ballots.Authorities hope enough people will vote in the three-day balloting for President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to lend legitimacy to an election in which the only other candidate is an obscure politician who has made no effort to challenge him."The result of the election is already known, so a high turnout is the real prize here, which the regime will capitalize on," said Ziad Akl, a senior researcher at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.During the official campaign period, instead of addressing any of the scores of rallies held by his supporters or appearing in TV ads, Sisi has opted for carefully scripted and televised functions. That aura has faded over the last four years, which could explain a clampdown ahead of the election on the media and critics.In a one-hour puff piece TV interview, Sisi said he wished he had 1 or 2 trillion dollars of his own money that he could spend on modernizing the country.In the televised interview, Sisi insisted that the lack of candidates was "completely not my fault".
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