President-elect Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took the oath-of-office before the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) on Sunday, beginning his four year presidency.
“I swear by Almighty God to loyally uphold the republican system, to respect the Constitution and the law, to fully uphold the interests of the people and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the nation,” Al-Sisi read out the oath-of-office before the hall, which broke into applause.
Al-Sisi took the oath before the General Assembly of the SCC as stipulated in Article 144. The article states the president must swear in before the court in the absence of a House of Representatives.
After being sworn in, the president proceeded to the Itihadiya Palace, met by a 21 artillery salute and the national anthem. Interim president Adli Mansour greeted Al-Sisi at the stairs of the palace.
For the first time in Egypt’s political history, two presidents signed a handover of authority document, which stated the transfer of power from Mansour in implementation of the second step of the roadmap “in name of the people, who hold supremacy are the source of all power.”
“It is an honour to be President of Egypt, and it is a big responsibility,” said Al-Sisi. The new president added that this was a historic moment for the nation, as Egypt has never before seen a peaceful transition of power of this nature.
“It is time for the people to reap the fruits of two revolutions,” Al-Sisi said, adding that he is taking over the presidency to aid the people in completing the roadmap. He also said that he intends on having a “building phase” in which efforts will be exerted internally and externally to revitalise Egypt’s role regionally and internationally.
Al-Sisi thanked Mansour for his work as interim president, who, despite being in the role for less than a year, he said had made a unique impression.
Both the new and former presidents thanked countries that had “truly and responsibly aided Egypt, through actions, not merely words, and which helped strengthen [Egypt’s] international stances.”
“After almost one year of presidency, I stand before you and entrust the nation to the new president,” Mansour told the assembly. He added that Egypt has gone through many political, economic and social challenges, with the people now choosing Al-Sisi for his patriotism, ability to secure the nation, and their desire he will fulfill their hopes and ambitions.
In a speech preceding the oath, Deputy Head and spokesman for the SCC Maher Sami addressed Al-Sisi as “the revolutionary officer” who had stood by the people, despite the dangers of this choice. In return, the people “returned the favour” and gave Al-Sisi their trust in hopes of a brighter future full of liberty, justice and security.
He also welcomed Mansour back to the SCC after completing his “historical mission in one of the most difficult times”.
Sami said that if a revolution does not align with constitutional values, the people have the right to rebel against it, as on 30 June, which he asserted was not a coup, but a “people’s revolution”.
Heads of state, ministers and diplomats arrived to Egypt on Saturday and Sunday to take part in the inauguration day, which was announced as a public holiday on Thursday. Members of the police, army and republican guards are providing security for the day.
Al-Sisi supporters scheduled a number of celebrations leading up to Sunday to mark the occasion.
Following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, then Minister of Defence Al-Sisi had announced a transitional roadmap. The first step was the passing of a new constitution in January, followed by presidential elections. Parliamentary elections are expected in six months.
The presidential election results were announced on 3 June, with Al-Sisi winning 96.9% of valid votes, beating his only contender, Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahy.