Egyptian president Sisi sworn in for second term
Former army chief faces tough challenges in curbing militancy and reviving economy
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi was sworn in on Saturday for a second four-year term as the country faces major economic and security challenges.
Mr El Sisi, who took the oath before a packed parliament and in front of members of his cabinet, pledged to continue working to restore stability, revive the economy and combat the insurgency in the northern Sinai Peninsula. He said his second term would focus on education and health care.
"Egypt can include all of us, with all our diversity and richness ... except those who choose violence and terror to impose their will and power. Egypt is for all and I am a president of all those who agree with me or disagree," he said at the ceremony, which was also attended by religious leaders.
Fighter jets drew an Egyptian flag in the sky above Cairo while military helicopters flew over the capital's centre as the president made his way to parliament - where he was greeted with a 21-gun salute.
Mr El Sisi, who was army chief when the military forced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi from the presidency after mass street protests in 2013, won his first term in 2014 with an overwhelming majority of the vote.
He faced no serious competition in his run for re-election and won 97 per cent of valid votes in the March presidential election. His only opponent, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, was relatively unknown and a fervent Sisi supporter himself. All other political contenders either withdrew or faced challenges to their candidacy.
Seven years after the January 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime, Mr El Sisi will have two major challenges to tackle in his second term: security and economic recovery.
The army is in the midst of a sweeping operation against ISIS-affiliated militants in the Sinai who have killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians on the peninsula and elsewhere in the country. ISIS also claimed the 2015 bombing of a Russian plane carrying tourists from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh in southern Sinai, killing all 224 people on board.
Mr El Sisi will also have to push through economic reforms to qualify for further assistance from the International Monetary Fund, including highly unpopular cuts to government subsidies of food and fuel.
Updated: June 2, 2018 04:20 PM