Home POLITICSElection President Sisi of Egypt Takes Oath for Third Consecutive Term

President Sisi of Egypt Takes Oath for Third Consecutive Term

by inlandtownadmin
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Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the President of Egypt, inaugurated his third term on Tuesday, continuing to lead the most populous nation in the Arab world. As the former army chief, aged 69, he has been wielding power for the past decade and is expected to continue holding office until 2030.

As he begins this term, he carries tens of billions in fresh loans and investments, intended to combat a severe economic slump. The nation faces heightened tensions amid border wars, particularly in Gaza and Sudan.

Addressing the parliament, Sisi made a solemn promise to stay true to his duties, with his focus solely on the welfare of the country and its people. Despite Egypt’s economic crisis and inflation, he pledged to build a modern, democratic state.

Sisi won the December elections with over 89% votes, beating three lesser-known candidates. This followed the sidelining or imprisonment of opposition challengers. Unless lawmakers pass a constitutional amendment extending his tenure, he is likely to serve only this six-year term.

During his inauguration speech in parliament, Sisi reaffirmed his commitment to nation-building. Sisi, who was then the defence minister, ascended to power following mass protests against the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, leading to his ousting in 2013. Sisi secured the presidency in subsequent years and 2018, garnering around 97% votes each time.

Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony also coincided with the inauguration of Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, situated in the desert to the east of Cairo, as reported by local media. This $58-billion megaproject is the centerpiece of Sisi’s administration, which has invested heavily in Egypt’s infrastructure. However, it has also faced criticism for its enormous debt-driven expenditure.

Cairo’s foreign debt tripled over a decade to $165 billion, while foreign reserves stand at $35 billion. Egypt has been fighting a severe economic crisis for two years, causing currency devaluation and 40% inflation.

However, in the first quarter of 2024, Egypt secured over $50 billion in loans and investment deals. According to Cairo, this influx of funds will alleviate the severe foreign currency shortages and rejuvenate the economy.

In February, the United Arab Emirates announced a $35-billion land development deal for Egypt’s Ras al-Hikma. The International Monetary Fund stated that this could “assist Egypt in rebuilding buffers to cope with future shocks”. Post this, the IMF doubled a $3-billion loan, and the EU and World Bank pledged billions more.

This substantial bailout has prevented Egypt from “plunging into the abyss”, as stated by former deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin. Egypt’s credit ratings were upgraded, and blocked inventory was released into the import-dependent economy.

In the 106 million-strong nation, two-thirds struggle below the poverty line, even before the crisis.

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