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May 29, 2014 AT 7:58 AM
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. Abdel-Fattah 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 Mohammed Morsi. According to unofficial results announced by his campaign early Thursday, el-Sissi won more than 92 percent of the vote, resoundingly beating his sole rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.