Egypt’s al-Sisi Sworn In For Second Term Amid Unrest

Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. AFP

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi vowed to tackle jihadists and revive the economy as he was sworn in on Saturday for a second four-year term after a wave of arrests.

He took the presidential oath before a packed parliament after winning 97 percent of valid votes in March’s presidential election.

Fighter jets drew an Egyptian flag in the sky above Cairo and military helicopters flew over the city centre as the president made his way to parliament, where he was greeted with a 21-gun salute.

“Together we face economic, social and political challenges and their negative effects on all aspects of life,” he said.

Speaking at a ceremony that followed a series of arrests targeting civil society critics and opponents, Sisi called for “consensus” and unity.

“Only those who have opted for violence, terrorism and extremism will be excluded from common spaces,” he said.

Sisi has regularly been accused by human rights defenders of violating public freedoms and silencing opponents.

Two of those arrested in recent months are Wael Abbas, a blogger and journalist, and Shadi Ghazali Harb, a youth leader during the 2011 revolution that toppled longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Before addressing public officials and religious authorities, the president led a minute’s silence for the Egyptians who had died “for the country”.

Egypt has been hit by a series of deadly militant attacks in recent years

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