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Sisi tops Time magazine Person of the Year poll - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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File photo—Protesters, who are against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, hold a poster featuring the head of Egypt's armed forces General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 3, 2013 file photo. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

File photo of protesters who are against then-Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi holding a poster featuring the head of Egypt’s armed forces, General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, in Tahrir Square in Cairo on July 3, 2013. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egyptian strongman Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi took first place in Time magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year poll, comfortably beating the runners-up, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and American pop star Miley Cyrus.

Sisi won the online poll with 26.2 percent of the vote, in comparison to Erdogan’s 20.8 percent and Cyrus’s 16.3 percent. However the Internet poll is no guarantee that Egypt’s Defense Minister will be voted Time magazine’s person of the year for 2013, with the final decision resting with the magazine’s editors.

Time magazine will officially announce the winner—whose picture will grace the magazine’s annual Person of the Year edition—on December 11.

The Time magazine poll included a 44-candidate list, including last year’s winner, US President Barack Obama and 2007 winner Vladimir Putin, as well as Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Indian Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi came in fourth place in the poll, securing 14 percent of the vote.

The poll also included less political choices, including Catholic Pope Francis, US late-night host Jimmy Fallon, and American basketball player Lebron James.

The online poll was conducted via a series of “face-offs,” with Sisi confronting Erdogan, Netanyahu facing off with Rouhani, Obama competing with Edward Snowden, and Bashar Al-Assad facing off with Boston bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

A total of 1.9 million Internet users voted in the poll, which closed on Thursday.

Recent Time magazine choices for Person of the Year have included left-field choices, such as “The Protester” in 2011, “You” in 2006, and “The Whistleblowers” in 2003.