16.9 C
New York

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sworn in for third term

Published:

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in Tuesday for his third term as leader of the Arab world’s most populous nation.

Issued on: Modified:

3 min

In power for the past decade, the 69-year-old former army chief is set to remain president until 2030.

Speaking before parliament, Sisi vowed to “remain faithful to my work, my eyes seeing only your interests and this country’s”.

As Egypt has battled a deep economic crisis with the help of billions in overseas loans and investments, he pledged “to realise the aspirations of the Egyptian nation to build a modern, democratic state”.

He won a December election with 89.6 percent of the vote against three relative unknowns, after opposition challengers were sidelined or jailed.

Read moreEgyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks to extend iron-fisted rule after ten years in power

The six-year term is set to be his last, unless he again ushers through a constitutional amendment prolonging his tenure.

In his inauguration speech before parliament, Sisi said he “renews his vow to continue on the course to build the nation”.

The EU chief and five European leaders visited cash-strapped Egypt on March 17 to announce a 7.4-billion-euro financial package.
The EU chief and five European leaders visited cash-strapped Egypt on March 17 to announce a 7.4-billion-euro financial package. © Stavros Ioannides, AFP

Then-defence minister Sisi rose to power on the back of mass protests against Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed in 2013.

Sisi was elected president the following year and then again in 2018, both times with around 97 percent of the vote.

Pundits have speculated about an impending cabinet reshuffle, which the government has not yet announced.

New capital inaugurated

Tuesday’s oath also marked the inauguration of Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, located in the desert east of Cairo, local media reported.

Egypt's New Administrative Capital megaproject, some 45 kilometres east of Cairo, on February 16, 2024.
Egypt’s New Administrative Capital megaproject, some 45 kilometres east of Cairo, on February 16, 2024. © Amir Makar, AFP

The $58-billion megaproject is the crowning jewel of Sisi’s administration, which has poured billions into Egypt’s infrastructure but has been criticised for massive debt-fuelled spending.

Cairo’s foreign debt bill has more than tripled over the past decade to a record $165 billion, according to central bank figures, while foreign currency reserves stand at $35 billion.

For the past two years, Egypt has struggled to contain the fallout of a punishing economic crisis that has seen the currency lose two-thirds of its value and inflation soar to a record 40 percent last year.

In the first quarter of 2024, however, Egypt saw an influx of over $50 billion in loans and investment deals, which Cairo has said will ease dire foreign currency shortages and revitalise the economy.

A memorial at the New Administrative Capital east of Cairo on January 9, 2024.
A memorial at the New Administrative Capital east of Cairo on January 9, 2024. © Khaled Desouki, AFP

The United Arab Emirates announced in February a $35-billion land development deal for Egypt’s Ras al-Hikma, which the International Monetary Fund said could “help Egypt rebuild buffers to deal with future shocks”.

A flurry of agreements followed, with the IMF more than doubling a $3-billion loan, and the European Union and World Bank pledging fresh financing.

(AFP) 

Related articles

Recent articles

spot_img