An elderly man is helped after casting his vote for...

An elderly man is helped after casting his vote for the presidential elections at a polling station, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. Egyptians began voting Sunday in a presidential election in which President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who faces no serious challenger, is certain to win another term, keeping him in power until 2030. Credit: AP/Amr Nabil

CAIRO — Egyptians cast their ballots Monday in the second day of voting in a presidential election that is certain to see President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi secure another term in office.

The vote, which began across this Mideast country on Sunday, has been overshadowed by the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, on Egypt’s eastern borders. The vote is also taking place amid a staggering economic crisis in a nation of 105 million people where nearly a third live in poverty, according to official figures.

The crisis stems from mismanagement of the economy but also from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, which rattled the global economy.

El-Sissi faces no serious challenger, although there are three other candidates: Farid Zahran, head of the opposition Social Democratic Party; Abdel-Sanad Yamama, chairman of the Wafd Party; and Hazem Omar, head of the Republican People’s Party.

As of noon Monday, 45% of the citizens eligible to vote had cast their ballots, the National Election Authority said. More than 67 million people are eligible to vote in the election.

The voting ends on Tuesday, with a runoff scheduled for Jan. 8-10 if no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote, according to the same body.

El-Sissi came to power in 2014, a year after he, as defense minister, led the military removal of an elected but divisive Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, amid widespread street protests against his year of rule.

A woman casts her vote for the presidential elections at...

A woman casts her vote for the presidential elections at a polling station, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. Egyptians began voting Sunday in a presidential election in which President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who faces no serious challenger, is certain to win another term, keeping him in power until 2030. Credit: AP/Amr Nabil

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