Sisi arrives at court for inauguration ceremony
Inside the court, state TV broadcast pictures of Sisi sitting next to interim President Adly Mansour
Egyptian President Fattah al-Sisi was sworn into office on Sunday at Cairo’s Supreme Constitutional Court as he sat next to former interim President Adly Mansour in front of court officials.
Among those present at the ceremony was Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and other ministers, along with former Prime Ministers Hazem al-Beblawy and Kamal al-Ganzouri.
Before Sisi took the oath of office, Egypt’s national anthem was played followed by Quran recitation inside the court. Sisi took office after a 96 percent landslide win in last month’s presidential election.
With the Egyptian flag draped over their shoulders, crowds of people outside the Constitutional Court ecstatically waved pictures and banners in support of the former army chief as he arrived at the venue in a blacked-out car.
“The millions support Sisi,” said one man, wearing a t-shirt printed with Sisi’s image next to a lion, outside the court. “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 travelled from other governorates 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, travelled from Dakahlia – northeast 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, referring to the violence that erupted across Egypt since the army-led ouster of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi.
Cairo-based 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 or felt on the ground in the first six 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.