Egypt’s Unelected General Unironically Elected TIME’s "Person Of The Year," Handily Defeats Miley Cyrus

The official announcement about the reader’s choice results came after days of misinformation in the Egyptian press about what the poll actually reflected.

In his first “election” as Egypt’s leader, Sisi received almost 600,000 votes, or 26.6% of the online total. His top competitors — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (an Islamist-leaning leader who oversaw a violent crackdown on the Gezi park protests in May) and Miley Cyrus (no introduction needed) — followed with 206.% and 16.3% of the vote, respectively.

10. A story on December 3 in the state-owned Al Ahram newspaper is a telling example of how the TIME poll was used to vilify Sisi’s opposition — in this case the Muslim Brotherhood — and justify human rights abuses.

The article used the poll to justify Sisi’s legitimacy and to vilify the Muslim Brotherhood as against Egypt’s interests: “It seems that Egyptians are enthusiastically leading the campaigns to vote for Sisi on TIME and other social media sites, whereas the Muslim Brotherhood in and outside of Egypt are supporting Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.” The article continued to claim that Morsi had been a candidate in the beginning, but “the non-Brotherhood Egyptians” voted against Morsi and prevented him from participating. (Morsi was a runner-up in last year’s reader’s POY poll. Human Rights Watch lawyer and women’s rights advocate Heba Morayef was also in the running this year for top 100 people.)

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