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Egypt rural tribes expect payback for backing Sisi

Egyptian President-elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wove ties with Egypt’s leading tribes to win support from the countryside, but the tribes want benefits in return.
CAIRO, EGYPT - JANUARY 15: An Egyptian men stand in line to cast their votes at a polling booth on January 15, 2014 in the rural district of Fayoum, Egypt. Egyptians went to the polls for a second day today, after the first day of voting yesterday was marred by clashes between protesters and security forces, and one explosion at a courthouse, in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Egyptians are voting to decide on the third constitution for Egypt since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 201

FAYOUM, Egypt — Tucked away in the idyllic Egyptian countryside 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Cairo, the village of Mansheyet Tantawy couldn’t have been further from the pomp and fanfare that engulfed the capital and other major hubs throughout the Egyptian presidential race. Located in the Fayoum governorate, the village had two schools-turned-polling stations serving around 18,000 people. By the early afternoon on the second day of the elections, the slow trickle of voters entering the schools from the main dirt road had already dried up.

“I voted. I took my family and we all voted for Sisi. Who else would be able to handle the country now?” said Khaled Garni, a farmer in his early 40s, a day before former military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won the elections. Several other villagers echoed this statement with varying amounts of enthusiasm, but the majority met questions about the elections with either indifference or disapproval. Voter turnout in Fayoum, estimated at 31%, was considerably lower than Egypt’s total turnout rate of about 45%, according to judicial sources. Ninety-six percent of Fayoum voters favored Sisi, who dominated the polls in all 27 governorates.

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