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Published: Monday June 2, 2014 MYT 4:25:12 AM
Updated: Monday June 2, 2014 MYT 4:25:12 AM

Egypt rejects appeal of defeated presidential candidate

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's elections committee said on Sunday it had rejected a defeated presidential candidate's appeal against voting results that gave former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a landslide victory.

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi only got 3 percent of the votes in last week's elections, according to initial results that showed Sisi in the lead with 93 percent of votes.

The elections committee's statement did not give details on its ruling on the appeal. It said the official results will be announced on Tuesday night.

The vote came 10 months after the army's ouster of elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July in reaction to protests against his rule.

The army-backed government has since cracked down hard on Mursi's supporters, killing hundreds and jailing thousands.

On Thursday, Sabahi conceded defeat but said the initial turnout figure of over 40 percent was too high and "an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians." He said he would accept the final result of the vote, however.

Sabahi's campaign sent a complaint to the elections committee on Friday objecting to what it said was "the existence of campaigning inside polling stations" by Sisi supporters, among other alleged abuses.

It also appealed to the committee to nullify all votes cast on the third day of polling, which was introduced at the last minute of the second day of the vote on Tuesday in a surprise move to boost low turnout.

Sabahi came third in the 2012 vote won by Mursi, Egypt's first democratically elected president who came to power after an uprising in 2011 that ended Hosni Mubarak's autocratic 30-year rule.

(Additional reporting by Mostafa Hashem, Writing by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Tom Brown)

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