Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was officially sworn in as Egypt’s president on Sunday, becoming the country’s second democratically-elected president since the 2011 ouster of long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Following in the steps of his predecessor Mohamed Morsi – whose ouster El-Sisi announced nearly a year ago – the ex-defence minister took the presidential oath at the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) at an event attended by outgoing interim president Adly Mansour, interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II.
Morsi was the first Egyptian president to be sworn in at the SCC.
The swearing-in was followed by an inauguration ceremony at Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis district in the presence of Arab, African and international leaders and their representatives.
Among the prominent attendees were leaders of Gulf states that strongly supported last summer’s ouster of Morsi and have since showered Egypt with billions of dollars: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman Ibn Abdel-Aziz, the UAE’s Crown Prince Mohamed Ibn Zayed and Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed.
In spite of almost a year-long falling-out between Cairo and Doha – a strong ally to Morsi’s now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood – Qatar’s emir sent a cable congratulating El-Sisi.
Sunday’s ceremony witnessed a low presence of western leaders, who limited their representation to envoys.
One of the exceptions was Russia, which was represented by its Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin. The US sent Thomas A. Shannon, who serves as Counselor to US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Addressing the attendees, El-Sisi expressed his hope for “an internal and external renaissance for the country” and vowed to establish a “strong, just, safe state”.
“The new Egypt will be looking forward to contributing to implementing security and independence for the region,” El-Sisi said.
“The time has come for the Egyptian people to reap the fruits of the two revolutions,” he said, referring to the 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013 uprisings which ousted former presidents Mubarak and Morsi.
During his short speech, El-Sisi promised that his presidential term will be inclusive and that he will listen to the “other”, adding that “we will have disagreements for the sake of the nation, not competing over the nation”.
El-Sisi said that he intended to include comprehensive efforts for internal and external developments to restore Egypt’s role, whether in the Arab world or Africa.
Thanking Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for his support, El-Sisi called on other countries to participate in the international donors’ conference the Saudi king called for last week to drum up financial aid for Egypt, besieged with three years of economic turmoil since the 2011 uprising.
El-Sisi’s speech was followed by the field marshal and Mansour signing a document signifying the official transfer of power – a scene that has rarely occurred in Egypt since its establishment as a republic in 1952, with its leaders often witnessing a misfortunate end to their reign.
Mansour also spoke at the event, addressing El-Sisi directly when he said, “You will succeed in achieving the people’s aspirations with the support of the people.”
Mansour, who was appointed by Morsi as head of the High Constitutional Court, was sworn in as interim president on 4 July 2013, a day after the Egyptian army ousted the Islamist president following nationwide mass protests against his one-year rule.
The afternoon inauguration ceremony was followed with a luncheon for the guests in attendance. Evening celebrations will include a gala event at Al-Quba palace with 1,300 guests from both Egypt and around the world.
Source: Ahram Online