Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi sworn in to second term

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was sworn in for a second term on Saturday, little more than two months after winning an election that critics have widely regarded as a sham.

El-Sissi, 63, took the oath of office before a packed session of parliament, in a ceremony that was broadcast live on state television.

El-Sissi was re-elected to a four-year term after winning 97 percent of the vote  with voter turnout at 41 percent in a March election that featured no serious opposition. The only challenger was himself, a strident supporter of the president.

Crackdown on dissent

All of the serious opposition candidates abandoned their campaigns in January. The top challenger was arrested and his campaign manager beaten up. Other legitimate contenders soon withdrew from the race, citing intimidation.

El-Sissi, a former intelligence chief and defense minister, led the military coup in 2013 of Egypt’s first freely elected president, Islamist Mohammed Morsi, amid widespread protests against his divisive rule.
Under el-Sissi, security forces have waged a widespread crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of Islamists as well as secular activists.

Unauthorized protests have been outlawed and hundreds of websites, including those of independent media and human rights groups, have been blocked.

Source: – DW