Cairo, AP—Egypt’s former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was sworn in on Sunday as president for a four-year term, taking the reins of power in a nation roiled since 2011 by deadly unrest and economic woes.
Sisi’s inauguration came less than a year after the 59-year-old career infantry officer ousted the country’s first freely elected president, the Islamist Mohamed Mursi, following days of mass protests by Egyptians demanding he step down.
Sisi took the oath of office before the Supreme Constitutional Court at the tribunal’s Nile-side headquarters in a suburb south of Cairo, the same venue where Mursi, now on trial for charges that carry the death penalty, was sworn in two years ago.
Sunday was declared a national holiday and tight security was enforced by the police and military throughout Cairo.
The somber ceremony was held at a red-carpeted hall adorned by Egypt’s red, white and black flags and attended by the entire Cabinet of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab as well as Sisi’s wife and children.
Sisi entered the hall walking side by side with the outgoing interim president Adly Mansour, who will now return to his post as chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court after nearly a year in office.
Outside the building, modeled to look like an ancient Egyptian temple, around a hundred Sisi supporters gathered, waving Egyptian flags and posters of the country’s new president.