Egypt’s Sisi Wins Reader Poll for TIME Person of the Year

The general, who led the ouster of his country's President and installed an interim government, beat out Turkey's Prime Minister and pop star Miley Cyrus

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Egypt’s General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who toppled the first democratically-elected government in the Arab world’s most populous nation, is the winner of the TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year poll.

Sisi received 449,596 votes, or 26.2% of the total, beating out Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who received 356,771 votes or 20.8%, and American pop star Miley Cyrus, who received 279,300 votes or 16.3%.

Sisi’s numbers were driven by massive support from his native Egypt: the country accounted for the largest number of votes on the TIME.com poll. India and the United States provided the second and third highest number of responses, respectively. TIME’s Person of the Year is chosen by the magazine’s editors and will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

As part of TIME’s partnership with Twitter to host this year’s Person of the Year conversation, we opened up our reader’s choice poll to social media voting on Twitter using Poptip. Users could vote by tweeting their choice with #TIMEPOY or on Time.com, where Poptip’s technology analyzes results in real time.

More than 1.3 million votes were submitted on TIME.com and nearly 560,000 others were registered via Twitter, for a total of 1,928,130 votes cast.

Sisi, whose formal title is defense minister but who is widely thought to dominate the transitional government he appointed, has enjoyed widespread popularity in Egypt since leading the July ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi after millions of Egyptians took to the streets to protest Morsi’s authoritarian leadership. Morsi, the first democratically-elected president after Egypt’s “Arab Spring” in 2011, was a POY candidate last year.

Sisi’s win in the poll marks an impressive comeback: as recently as Monday, he trailed Cyrus by nearly 2 percentage points. He also beat out write-in candidates Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Hillary Clinton.

Cyrus took an early lead thanks to an active fan base—she was ahead when voting tallies were announced midway through the poll—but lost ground in the second half of voting despite calls for support from Cyrus herself:

In face-off contests between Person of the Year candidates, there were some big wins and some close calls. Here, a sample of the results:

Miley Cyrus (93%) beat Jimmy Fallon (7%)

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi (56%) beat Recep Tayyip Erdogan (44%)

Malala Yousafzai (59%) beat Angelina Jolie (41%)

Pope Francis (68%) beat Prince George (32%)

Hassan Rouhani (79%) beat Benjamin Netanyahu (21%)

Edward Snowden (82%) beat Barack Obama (18%)

Lebron James (50%) tied Diana Nyad (50%)

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