CAIRO (Reuters) – Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as president of Egypt on Sunday in a ceremony with low-key attendance by Western allies concerned by a crackdown on dissent since he ousted Islamist leader Mohamed Mursi last year.
Last month’s election, which officials said Sisi won with 97 percent of the vote, followed three years of upheaval since a popular uprising ended 30 years of rule by former air force commander Hosni Mubarak.
Security in Cairo was extra tight, with armoured personnel carriers and tanks positioned in strategic locations as Sisi swore to protect Egypt’s unity, law and the interests of its people before a panel of judges at the Supreme Constitutional Court.
Near Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of the revolt against Mubarak where protesters now rarely tread, young men sold t-shirts with the image of Sisi in his trademark dark sunglasses.
Commentators on state and private media heaped praise on him, turning a blind eye to what human rights groups say are widespread abuses, in the hope that he can deliver stability and rescue the economy.
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