Cheers for Sisi sweep Cairo amid inauguration buzz

Sisi is to take office after a 96 percent landslide win in elections last month

Eman El-Shenawi
Eman El-Shenawi - Al Arabiya News
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With the Egyptian flag draped over their shoulders, crowds of people outside the Constitutional Court in Cairo on Sunday ecstatically waved pictures and banners in support of the man soon to be sworn in as Egypt’s new president as he arrived at the venue.

Heard from several streets and alleys away, the bustling cheers in support of former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ahead of his inauguration ceremony pulsed with excitement.

Sisi is to take office after a 96 percent landslide win in elections last month.

“The millions support Sisi,” said one man, wearing a t-shirt printed with Sisi’s image next to a lion. “We came here today for him. We will do anything for him to know how much we love him and wanted him to become our president,” he added, pointing to the picture on his t-shirt.

Many in the crowd had traveled from other govern orates to be part of celebrations due to be held across Cairo throughout the day, hoping to catch a glimpse of the president-elect.

Another Sisi supporter, Ibrahim Amer, traveled from Dakahlia – north east of Cairo – with his 14-year-old son to join the crowds outside the court.

“We’re here to cheer for the man who has given us fresh hope after a terrible past year,” Amer said, in reference to the violence that erupted across the country since the army-led ouster of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi.

Egyptian blogger Ahmed Emad outlined challenges Sisi should tackle.

“Economy is bad, tourism is bad, there is little security on the street, unemployment is high, too many power cuts, the list goes on,” Emad said.

During his presidential campaign, Sisi did not publicize his agenda, however he did hint at possible austerity cuts and implementing a tax for Egyptians living abroad.

“The guy has already said he doesn’t have a magic wand, which we understand, but there should be at least some change seen felt on the ground in the first 6 months or so,” Emad added.

The inauguration ceremony will be followed by a reception at Cairo’s Ittihadiya Palace which heads of state, ministers and diplomats are set to attend. A second reception will be held in Cairo’s Quba Palace with guests from several political groups, according to state news agency MENA.

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