Sisi takes office as Egyptian president

Low key reception from West at Cairo ceremony

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as Egypt's new president on 8 June following last month's landslide election in which he received 97 per cent of the vote.

The former army chief pledged to “correct the mistakes of the past” and to rule Egypt in an "inclusive manner" at the inauguration which took place in Cairo amid tight security.

The ceremony was attended by leaders from the Gulf Arab nations who are supportive of Sisi's tough stance on the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi removed the Islamist president and senior Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi from power almost a year ago and has since instigated a severe clampdown on the 86-year-old organisation, declaring it unlawful, jailing thousands of its supporters and handing down mass death sentences.

The United States and European countries were represented at the inauguration by senior officials and ambassadors – a move interepreted by political commentators as reserved recognition of Sisi's mandate but lack of support for his crackdown on dissent.

The new president gave no indication of any planned reconciliation with the Brotherhood but called for unity and hard work and said that violence would not be tolerated.

Sisi has said that his priorities include restoring stability and bringing development to the polarised nation of 85 million inhabitants which has been gripped by political turmoil since former president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in a popular uprising in 2011.

Sisi will need to fix Egypt's finances, lure foreign investment, create jobs and reignite the country's ailing tourism industry. He has repeatedly stated that he “cannot perform miracles” but analysts predict that if he doesn't produce prompt results his popularity could fade rapidly.

Wanted in Africa
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