Egypt's Sabahi concedes defeat in presidential race but disputes turnout figure

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 file photo, Egypt’s military chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi smiles as he speaks to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their talks in Moscow, Russia. The election of Egypt's former military chief to the nation's presidency may be remembered for its central irony: He won in a historic landslide — only to shatter his image of invulnerability in the process. El-Sissi's win was never in doubt, but what the retired 59-year-old field marshal wanted was an overwhelming turnout that would accord legitimacy to his July ouster of Egypt's first freely elected president — the Islamist Mohammed Morsi — and show critics at home and abroad that his action reflected the will of the people. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

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By HAMZA HENDAWI and MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) — The defeated candidate in Egypt's presidential candidate has accepted defeat by the nation's former military chief, but said turnout figures announced by the government are not credible.

Left-wing politician Hamdeen Sabahi says there were serious violations in the vote, but not enough to significantly change the outcome — a crushing victory for the retired field marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. El-Sissi took more than 92 percent of the vote, while Sabahi won 2.9 percent, according to el-Sissi's campaign.

But he said the turnout figure of 46 percent announced by the interim president Thursday is not credible.

"It is an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians," he said.

Sabahi earlier complained that measures by the government — particularly extending the election to a third day — aimed to improperly inflate voting figures.

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