Abdul Fattah al-Sisi sworn in as Egypt’s president

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Former army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has been
sworn in as Egypt’s new president after winning
elections in May by a landslide.
Security forces were deployed at key locations
around the capital Cairo ahead of the ceremony at
the Supreme Constitutional Court.
The retired field marshal overthrew President
Mohammed Morsi last July.
He has since been pursuing a crackdown on Mr
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which urged a
boycott of the elections.
Liberal and secular activists, including the 6 April
youth movement which was prominent in the 2011
revolution that ousted long-serving President
Hosni Mubarak, also shunned the 26-28 May poll
in protest at the curtailing of civil rights.
‘Time to work’
Mr Sisi, 59, secured 96.9% of the vote and his sole
challenger, left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi, received
only 3.1%, according to the official results.
Many Egyptians believe that after three years of
turmoil Mr Sisi is the saviour they have been
waiting for
Mr Sisi’s opponents fear his election victory will
mark a return to authoritarian rule
However, the turnout was less than 50%.
Despite this crowds are expected to flock to
Cairo’s Tahrir Square to celebrate his victory, the
BBC’s Orla Guerin in the Egyptian capital reports.
Mr Sisi inherits a nation that is divided and weary,
our correspondent says. Experts warn that if he
cannot deliver in the next year or two he could
face a mass revolt, like his predecessors.
In a televised speech after the poll, he said he
wanted “freedom” and “social justice”, echoing the
slogan of the 2011 revolution.
He said it was now “time to work”, adding: “Our
co-operation in work and construction will lead to
prosperity and luxury.”
He also faces a wide array of other challenges,
including fixing the economy, preventing further
political crises and easing poverty.
More than a quarter of Egyptians live below the
poverty line – most in rural areas.
He has pledged to build 26 new tourist resorts,
eight new airports and 22 industrial estates.
Mr Sisi has also promised to restore security in a
country where attacks by Islamist militants have
left hundreds of security personnel dead over the
past 11 months.
The militants have stepped up attacks in response
to the state’s crackdown on Mr Morsi’s Muslim
Brotherhood and its allies, in which more than
1,400 people have been killed and 16,000
Mr Morsi and other senior leaders of the
Brotherhood, which has been designated a
terrorist organisation, are currently standing trial
on a series of charges. They strongly deny any
Critics fear that Mr Sisi will continue to show little
tolerance for dissent.

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