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2 Apr, 2024 14:27

Egypt’s Sisi sworn in for third term

The leader of the North African nation won 89.6% of the vote in the December election
Egypt’s Sisi sworn in for third term

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been sworn into office for a third term following his victory in the country’s December election. The inauguration ceremony took place at the new headquarters of Egypt’s parliament in the New Administrative Capital outside Cairo on Tuesday.

Sisi was declared the winner of last year’s election after garnering a resounding 89.6% of the vote, defeating three relatively unknown candidates. According to the National Elections Authority (NEA), 39.7 million of the 44.7 million citizens who voted supported the incumbent leader.

The former general first won the Egyptian presidency in 2014 and was reelected for a second term in 2018, securing an overwhelming 97% of the vote on both occasions. He will now serve a six-year term, which will end in 2030.

Sisi’s victory came despite the Arab nation facing a severe economic crisis featuring significant currency devaluation and rising prices, as well as increased regional tensions caused by Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in neighboring Gaza.

Cairo has sought increased investment, including from Russia, in order to address the economic challenges faced by its estimated 113 million population. Egypt joined the five founding member states of BRICS in January, along with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Iran.

The government has also embarked on major infrastructure projects, including an expansion of the Suez Canal and extensive road-building, which Sisi insists are necessary for economic development and to accommodate Egypt’s growing population. The New Administrative Capital in the desert, east of Cairo, where Sisi’s swearing-in was held, is said to be the largest of the government’s mega projects, but has been panned by critics as an example of lavish spending.

Some voters told Reuters in December that the conflict in Gaza had influenced their decision to back Sisi, who has long portrayed himself as a stabilizing force in the troubled region.

On Monday, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) named the Egyptian leader the recipient of its ‘Champion of Peace’ award for 2024. PAM said Sisi was chosen because of his “remarkable efforts” to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza, as well as to facilitate the delivery of critical aid to the Palestinian population.