Sisi: A new presidential term

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 1 Apr 2024

Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi begins a third presidential term on Wednesday 3 April.

Al-Sisi taking the oath back in 2018
Al-Sisi taking the oath back in 2018


After winning a third term with 89.6 per cent of the vote in December’s presidential election, incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is scheduled to take his new oath of office on Tuesday at the House of Representatives in the New Administrative Capital.

Sources say around 1,000 guests will be invited to the ceremony, including foreign ambassadors, diplomatic and political figures, cabinet ministers, religious leaders and 300 members of the Senate.

“Intensive contacts between the president’s office and parliament’s secretariat-general are underway to finalise preparations for the swearing-in ceremony,” said an informed source.

Article 109 of parliament’s internal bylaws states that the House convene a special session following the announcement of the results of the presidential election during which the president-elect takes the oath —”to fully observe the people’s interests and to preserve the independence of the nation and the unity and safety of its lands” — prescribed by Article 144 of the constitution. The oath can be taken before the General Assembly of the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) in the absence of parliament. In 2014, when no parliament was sitting, El-Sisi was sworn in before the SCC.

Atef Al-Maghawri, parliamentary spokesperson of the Tagammu Party, told reporters on 10 March that the House of Representatives and the Senate had decided to adjourn sessions until further notice in preparation for President El-Sisi’s swearing-in ceremony.

“President El-Sisi’s second term in office is set to expire on 2 April leading many to expect he will be sworn in before the House of Representatives on 2 April, meaning his third presidential term will begin on 3 April,” said Al-Maghawri.

In a TV interview MP Mustafa Bakri speculated that, “in line with the local administration law”, a reshuffle of provincial governors could take place following the swearing-in ceremony.

“I also expect that the government will resign,” said Bakri.

Constitutional expert Salah Fawzi told parliamentary reporters that Article 241 of the constitution, introduced among a raft of amendments in 2019, states that the incumbent president’s term expires six years after the announcement of his election. “El-Sisi’s election victory was announced on 2 April 2018 so he should be sworn in on that day or before in order to undertake the duties of his third term on 3 April 2024,” said Fawzi

Fawzi also noted there is no requirement for the government to submit its resignation following the end of a presidential term.

Commenting on earlier speculation that the president-elect would take the oath of office immediately after the election results were announced, Senate deputy speaker and constitutional expert Bahaaeddin Abu Shoqa said such a scenario was only applicable in the event of early elections.

Abu Shoqa agreed that the president’s new term is likely to be followed by a reshuffle of provincial governors and also noted that “precedents suggest a cabinet reshuffle will follow.”

The constitution, approved in a public referendum in January 2014 and amended in April 2019, outlines presidential procedures.

Article 140 stipulates a six-year presidential term, starting the day after the president-elect’s predecessor’s term concludes, and prohibits more than two consecutive terms. (The 2019 amendments made an exception for El-Sisi). The election process must begin at least 120 days before the current president’s term ends and results announced 30 days before that deadline.

Article 150 does not stipulate the president-elect deliver a speech following the inauguration of his new term in office, stating only that the new president deliver a policy statement to the House of Representatives at the opening of its annual regular session.

On 18 December 2023, the head of the National Election Authority (NEA) announced El-Sisi had won the presidential election with 39,702,000 votes. His new, and final, presidential term ends in 2030.

The NEA reported 66.8 per cent voter turnout in the presidential elections.

When El-Sisi was elected president for a second time in 2018, Egypt faced a host of security and economic challenges. Islamic State-affiliated militants in North Sinai had killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen, and civilians in the peninsula and it took a comprehensive military operation to restore stability to Sinai.

Egypt continues to face economic challenges, including high inflation rates and a shortage of dollars. This month Egypt secured pledges of financial support including an $8 billion loan from the IMF, 7.4 billion euros from the EU and $6 billion from the World Bank.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 28 March, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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