For the first time in Egypt’s history an outgoing president has peacefully handed out power to an elected leader.
A historical handing over ceremony between outgoing interim President Adly Mansourand Egyptian president-elect Abdel Fatah al Sisi took place on Sunday at Egypt’s Ittihadeya palace in the Heliopolis district.
The “unprecedented” ceremony in Egypt’s modern political history saw both men signing the “handover of power document” in the presence of dozens of local and foreign dignitaries.
“Let us differ for the sake of our nation and not over it, and in a unifying national march in which every party listens to the other,” Sisi said before thanking the outgoing interim president.
Mansour will now return to his post as chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court after nearly a year in office.
He is the only president in Egypt’s history to leave the post alive and without an uprising.
On Wednesday, Mansour, known by some as the “man of the law,” made his farewell speech, becoming the first Egyptian head of state to leave office alive or without unrest in the Arab world’s most populous country.
During a televised farewell address to the public, Mansour, at times on the verge of tears, urged citizens to rise to their responsibilities in order to face political, economic and security challenges that had been crippling Egypt for months.
Egypt’s previous presidents have ascended the country’s highest office under more turbulent circumstances.
Mansour’s predecessor, Mohammad Mursi, took power after elections that were held around 1.5 years after the ouster of former strongman President Hosni Mubarak.
Three decades earlier, Mubarak took power only eight days after parliament speaker Sufi Abu Taleb had served as an acting head of state after Anwar Sadat’s assassination during a military parade in Cairo in 1981.
Sadat had taken power after the death of President Gamal Abdel Nasser from a heart attack in 1970.
Nasser himself has seized power he deposed Egypt’s first president, Mohammad Naguib – who had come after the army officer-led coup against King Farouk in 1952 - and placed him under house arrest.