Sisi Sworn in as Egypt President, Vows 'No Leniency' for Violence

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned on Sunday, hours after being sworn in, that there will be "no leniency" for those who commit acts of violence.

In a televised address to the nation, Sisi promised to work toward "reconciliation" but not with those who have "shed blood."

Sisi ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last July, since when authorities have crushed his Muslim Brotherhood movement, jailed its leaders and put them on trial.

Sisi said there will be "no leniency and truce with those who resort to violence."

"I am looking to a new era built on reconciliation and tolerance... except with those who committed crimes or used violence as a tool," he said.

"I am saying clearly that those who shed the blood of the innocent and killed ... the sons of Egypt, they don't have a place in (our) march."

Sisi was sworn in earlier in the day following a landslide election almost a year after he deposed Morsi.

The retired field marshal took the oath of office at the heavily guarded Constitutional Court and then left to attend a reception with foreign dignitaries.

Western countries alarmed by the brutal crackdown on dissent following the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last year mostly sent low level representatives.

Sisi scored a lopsided victory last month in an election boycotted by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and secular dissidents, also targeted by the army-installed government in the wide-ranging crackdown.

Soldiers and police deployed in force in the capital in anticipation of protests by the battered Brotherhood movement and possible militant attacks.

"I swear by almighty God to preserve the republican system, and to respect the constitution and the law and to care for the interests of the people; and to preserve the independence of the nation and its territorial integrity," Sisi declared in the ceremony broadcast live on television.

Elite policemen stood guard outside as helicopters dropped posters of Sisi on dozens of well-wishers who turned up to see the former army commander.

"I'm here to congratulate Sisi, the man who rescued us from terrorism and the Muslim Brotherhood," said one flag-waving supporter, Amira Ahmed.

The presidency said he would later host a reception at Cairo's Ittihadiya presidential palace, with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, Arab royals and African leaders in attendance.

Sisi will also sign a transfer of power agreement with Adly Mansour, a chief justice whom Sisi had installed as interim president when he ousted Morsi on July 3.

Riding a wave of popularity since then, Sisi won the May 26-28 election with 96.9 percent of the vote against his only rival, leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi.

The nature of the victory showed he still enjoyed immense support for his overthrow of the divisive Morsi, after millions held protests demanding an end to the Islamist's single year of turbulent rule.

But the lower than anticipated turnout of about 47 percent denied Sisi the overwhelming mandate he had called for ahead of the vote.

The now banned Brotherhood had called for a boycott of the election.

Sisi's main challenges will be to restore stability and revive the economy after three years of turmoil, following a 2011 uprising that ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Since Morsi's ouster, the crackdown on his supporters has killed more than 1,400 people and left thousands behind bars, while militants have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.

In a televised address after his victory was announced on Tuesday, Sisi called on Egyptians to "work to return security to this nation".

Sisi's opponents fear that under his rule, Egypt will return to an autocratic regime worse than under Mubarak.

In the run-up to the election, Sisi said that "national security" takes precedence over democratic freedoms.

He will be the fifth Egyptian president to rise from the ranks of the military, and is expected to reassert the army's grip on politics.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who opposed Morsi's Brotherhood, called for a donor conference to help Egypt after the results were announced.

The oil kingpin was to be represented at the swearing-in ceremony by Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, alongside the rulers of Kuwait and Bahrain.

Western nations, which congratulated Sisi on his election win while stressing the importance of safeguarding human rights, sent low-level officials or were represented by ambassadors.

The United States has voiced concerns about "the restrictive political environment" during the vote, urging Sisi to show "commitment to the protection of the universal rights of all Egyptians".

Senior State Department official Thomas Shannon was to represent Washington at the palace ceremony.

Comments 8
Missing bigjohn 08 June 2014, 23:30

"A despot, tyrant, dictator in the making!

Another Mubarak.... Kaddhafi, Ben Ali, Assad...." Ok. I kind of agree with that. But, Why the KSA supported Mabarak and now SISI, but NOT Assad, and Kaddhafi??? Is it because Assad and Kaddafi DID NOT always take orders from Zionist America the way the KSA ALWAYS does???

Missing coolmec 09 June 2014, 00:39

Pajama boy and Big John
I agree he is a dictator in the making unfortunately we arabs are incapable of practicing democracy, as such a dictator is needed
I hate to say that but it is true

Thumb ado.australia 09 June 2014, 06:12

"We Arabs" have nothing to do with Egypt or Saudi Arabia or the gulf Arabs. Nor is there anything in common with Morocco or Algeria. Use of a common alphabet (which is all we have in common) does not mean we can generalise that all people of the Middle East are incapable of democracy. Just means that western style democracy is not a one size fits all.

Missing bigjohn 09 June 2014, 06:22

"Just means that western style democracy is not a one size fits all" .I agree with you, but we can have more responsible governments made in the Arab world that listens and cares to the people they govern. We do have in common more than the language we speak. We have similar culture in traditions like in music, arts, life styles. In Europe, they do not have even the same language. We need to change our political system in the whole Arab world.

Missing bigjohn 09 June 2014, 06:24

BTW, I saw a picture of former President Ahmadnijad circulating around the Arab world in a public bus with others wearing suits. Now put aside how you feel about this leader (I never liked him)...Imagine a former top political leader in the Arab world (including Lebanon) riding a "public Bus"?

Thumb ado.australia 09 June 2014, 08:09

We read and write a common language but we speak a dialect that is incomprehensible with the people of the gulf, Iraq, Egypt or the North Saharan. Except Tunisian, Lebanese is only similar to the other Levantine peoples of Syria and Palestine. Our culture, food and art is only similar to that of our neighbours in the levant and nothing with Oman or Qatar or ksa. Imagine our lifestyle like the Saudis?

Point is democracy is ever evolving and fits differently with the culture and sophistication of the people. Wasn't long ago that women and coloured people weren't allowed to vote in the USA or Jews and gypsies in areas of Europe a few decades ago.

Missing VINCENT 09 June 2014, 05:52

To the above, since no evidence has yet surfaced to substantiate Al Sisi will follow suit, I would rather say: "so far, there is no compelling evidence that Sisi is a tyrant, etc."

Thumb scorpyonn 09 June 2014, 09:16

Too bad we do not have a strongman like this to get rid of the rats that have infested our country.