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Preparations underway for President Sisi's swearing-in ceremony

Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is expected to be sworn in by parliament 2 June

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 23 May 2018
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: facebook.com/AlSisiofficial/)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: facebook.com/AlSisiofficial/)
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After winning a second term with 97 per cent of the vote in Egypt's 2018 presidential elections, incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is expected to take his new oath of office in parliament.

Parliamentary spokesman Salah Hassaballah told reporters this week that El-Sisi will be sworn in for his second term on 2 June. "Intensive contacts between the president's office and parliament's secretariat-general are underway to conclude preparations for the swearing-in ceremony scheduled for the first week of June," Hassaballah said.

Kamel El-Wazir, head of the army's engineering organisation, and parliament's secretary-secretary Ahmed Saadeddin reviewed this week renovation works of parliament's main buildings ahead of the swearing-in ceremony. "The works also include renovating parliament's plenary meeting hall in which El-Sisi will take the oath," said Saadeddin.

In 2014, when no parliament was sitting, El-Sisi was sworn before the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC). Article 144 of the constitution states that the elected president must be sworn in before parliament.

El-Sisi is also expected to deliver a speech following the swearing-in ceremony. Speaking at the recent Fifth Youth Forum on 16 May, El-Sisi said political life in Egypt is in pressing need of stronger parties capable of moving the country forward. "It is a good thing that we now have representatives from eight or nine political parties in parliament," El-Sisi said, nonetheless arguing that political parties with similar ideological platforms should unite.

It is not certain whether El-Sisi's swearing-in will be followed by the government's resignation. Hassaballah argued that there is no constitutional or legislative article that stipulates that the government submit its resignation following the end of the presidential term and the swearing-in ceremony.

Several MPs have slammed government of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail in recent weeks, accusing it of working in favour of the wealthy classes and implementing IMF policies that have left millions of Egyptians living under the poverty line.

The latest wave of attacks came last week when the government surprised all by increasing the price of Cairo's underground Metro system by a significant margin. Infuriated, MPs accused the government of snubbing parliament because it took the decision without notice or a chance for the public to prepare.

Cabinet spokesman Ashraf Sultan told reporters early this month that a cabinet reshuffle in Egypt is expected at any time. However, he stressed, "regardless of news about this reshuffle, the government believes that it has to do its job up to the last moment," Sultan said.

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