Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will take Egypt’s oath of office before his predecessor interim President Adly Mansour, in his capacity as the head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, presidential legal adviser Ali Awad said on Thursday.
In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Mansour’s legal adviser said: “According to Article 144 of the new constitution, presidents take the oath of office before parliament, but if there is no parliament then the oath of office must be taken before the Supreme Constitutional Court.”
Egypt is set to elect a parliament within the next six months as part of the political roadmap drawn up following the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi last summer.
Adly Mansour was sworn in as Egypt’s president on July 4, 2013, one day after Mursi was removed from office, and was selected because he was the highest legal authority in the country. Mansour had only been appointed as head of the Supreme Constitutional Court in May 2013 and officially took up the post on July 1, three days before he was appointed president.
Article 144 of Egypt’s new constitution reads: “As a condition for assuming his duties, the President of the Republic shall take the following oath before the House of Representatives: ‘I swear by the Almighty God to loyally uphold the republican system, respect the Constitution and the law, fully uphold the interests of the People and to safeguard the independence of the nation and the integrity of its territories.’ In case of the absence of the House of Representatives, the oath shall be taken before the General Assembly of the Supreme Constitutional Court.”
The protocol for an Egyptian presidential swearing-in does not require the president-elect to repeat the oath of office after the country’s top judge, but rather to read the oath from a piece of paper in the presence of the members of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
“Mansour will decide the precise circumstances surrounding his attendance at the swearing-in ceremony in his position as head of the Supreme Constitutional Court,” Awad said.
There is mounting speculation regarding what role the outgoing president intends to play in a Sisi-led Egypt, with questions being raised over how the current and former presidents will interact with one another in the future.
In comments to Kuwait’s Al-Seyassah newspaper last year, Mansour said that he intended to return to the judiciary following the end of his term in office: “I will return to my office and work at the constitutional court. I became interim president of Egypt based on the provisions of the law and constitution, and I respect the provisions of the law and constitution.”