Egypt’s newly elected President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi vowed to strengthen security forces to restore order and stop militant attacks as he seeks to lure investment and revive an economy battered by unrest.
The former military chief, addressing the nation late yesterday, hours after taking the oath of office, also said there will be no reconciliation with those who resorted to violence.
“Realizing comprehensive development in its various forms and different aspects requires a favorable security environment that reassures capital and attracts tourism and investment,” he said. “We will work to develop the police force and double its ability to achieve security.”
Militant attacks have surged in Egypt since al-Sisi, then the defense minister, led the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July. The government has blamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood for most of the violence, classifying it as a terrorist organization. The group says it’s committed to peaceful resistance.
al-Sisi’s ascension to the top job after ousting the country’s first democratically elected civilian leader brings Egypt back to its decades-old tradition of a president who hails from the military’s ranks. He rose to prominence amid hopes that he will restore order, create jobs and revive an economy stuck in the worst slowdown in two decades. His opponents accuse him of trampling democracy, cementing polarization and leading a bloody crackdown on Morsi’s backers.
“There will no exclusion of any Egyptian from our march,” he said yesterday. “But those who have shed the blood of the innocent and killed loyal Egyptians have no room in this march.”
He vowed no laxity with those “who resort to violence” and said defeating terrorism will be a priority.
al-Sisi won last month’s presidential elections, crushing his sole rival with 97 percent of the vote. Turnout of about 47 percent raised questions about whether he won a broad enough mandate to address the turmoil and economic stagnation that have persisted since autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011.
The Brotherhood and its allies, who boycotted the vote, vowed to press on with protests, calling for a massive demonstration on July 3, the anniversary of Morsi’s overthrow.