El-Sisi Takes Office As Egypt’s New “Elected” President
The General who led the military coup that overthrew President Mohammed Morsi last July is now Egypt’s President:
CAIRO — Egypt’s former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was sworn in on Sunday as president for a four-year term, assuming the highest office of a deeply polarized nation that has been roiled by deadly unrest and an economic crisis since its 2011 uprising.
El-Sissi’s inauguration came less than a year after the 59-year-old career infantry officer ousted the country’s first freely elected president, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, following days of mass protests demanding he step down.
El-Sissi took the oath of office before the Supreme Constitutional Court at the tribunal’s Nile-side headquarters in a suburb south of Cairo, the same venue where Morsi, now on trial for charges that carry the death penalty, was sworn in two years ago.
The building, designed to look like an ancient Egyptian temple, is a short distance away from a military hospital where ousted president Hosni Mubarak is being held.
Forced out of office after nearly 30 years in power by the 2011 uprising, Mubarak was convicted last month of graft and sentenced to three years in prison. He is also being retried for failing to stop the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 18-day revolt.
Sunday was declared a national holiday for el-Sissi’s inauguration and police and troops were deployed throughout Cairo. The somber ceremony was held in a red carpeted hall adorned by red, white and black Egyptian flags and attended by the entire Cabinet as well as el-Sissi’s wife and children.
After arriving by helicopter, El-Sissi, in a blue suit and matching tie, entered the hall walking side by side with the outgoing interim president Adly Mansour, who will now return to his post as chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court after nearly a year in office.
Outside the building around a hundred el-Sissi supporters waved Egyptian flags and posters of the country’s new president. Army pickup trucks fitted with machine-guns were parked nearby and helicopters hovered overhead.
El-Sissi is Egypt’s eighth president since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1953, the year after a military coup. With the exception of Morsi and two civilians who served in an interim capacity, all of Egypt’s presidents have hailed from the armed forces.
Welcome to the New Egypt, same as the Old Egypt.