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Egyptian President Sissi takes oath for third term

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in on Tuesday for his third term as leader of the Arab world’s most populous country, in the country’s new $58 billion administrative capital in the desert east of Cairo.

In power for a decade, the 69-year-old former army chief will remain president until 2030.

Speaking before parliamentarians, Sissi promised to “remain faithful to my work, my eyes seeing only your interests and those of this country.”

As Egypt battles a deep economic crisis with billions in foreign loans and investment, he pledged to “realize the aspirations of the Egyptian nation to build a modern and democratic state.”

Sisi won last December’s election with 89.6 percent of the vote against three relatively unknowns, after opposition opponents were sidelined or jailed.

Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wins third term with landslide victory

This six-year term is expected to be his last, unless he again passes a constitutional amendment extending his term.

A former defense minister, Sissi rose to power following massive protests against Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed in 2013.

Egyptian activists ready to demonstrate against Morsi

Sisi was first elected president the following year, and again in 2018, each time with around 97% of the vote.

Experts have speculated about an imminent cabinet reshuffle, which the government has not yet announced.

Former president, new capital

The New Administrative Capital megaproject, into which Sisi was sworn in, is located about 45 kilometers east of the current capital, Cairo. Sisi has invested billions in Egypt’s infrastructure but has been criticized for his massive debt-fueled spending.

Cairo’s external debt has more than tripled over the past decade to a record $165 billion, according to central bank figures, while foreign currency reserves stand at $35 billion.

Over the past two years, Egypt has struggled to contain the aftermath of a severe economic crisis that has seen the currency lose two-thirds of its value and inflation hit a record 40 percent a year. last.

However, in the first quarter of 2024, Egypt saw an inflow of more than $50 billion in loans and investment deals, which Cairo says will ease severe foreign currency shortages and revitalize the economy .

The United Arab Emirates in February announced a $35 billion land development deal for Egypt’s Ras al-Hikma area, which the International Monetary Fund said could “help Egypt replenish its reserves to cope with future shocks.

A series of agreements followed, with the IMF more than doubling a $3 billion loan and the European Union and World Bank pledging new financing.

(with press wires)

Originally published on RFI

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