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Egypt: Sisi to be sworn in as President for 3rd term in new capital 

April 1, 2024 at 2:01 pm

People celebrate after Egypt’s incumbent President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi was reelected to a third, six-year term in office in Cairo, Egypt on December 18, 2023 [Mohamed Elshahed/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is set to commence his third term following a swearing-in ceremony at the New Administrative Capital (NAC) tomorrow. The inauguration marks the opening of the first phase of the controversial mega-project, which has garnered widespread criticism due to its hefty cost amid worsening economic conditions.

President Al-Sisi will take the oath of office at the lower house of the parliament within the NAC, reported Asharq Al-Awsat. A security source told the newspaper that he will arrive at the new capital tomorrow where he will hold a short meeting with the parliament speaker and other officials from the legislature before the ceremony.

Al-Sisi was elected to a new term in December, winning 89.6 per cent of the vote with credible opposition movements side-lined or crushed and the Arab world’s most populous country distracted by the war on neighbouring Gaza. Al-Sisi’s new six-year term will officially begin on 3 April.

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The North African country has been grappling with severe economic mismanagement, exemplified by the substantial investment in “white elephant” projects, including the new capital, which has cost the nation about $60 billion.

The NAC, situated in a desert area about 45 kilometres east of Cairo, has been under construction since 2015. Despite being intended to alleviate overcrowding in Cairo and become the country’s financial and administrative hub, the project has faced criticism due to its extravagant residential unit prices, placing them beyond the reach of average-income households in a country where a sizable portion of the population lives below the poverty line.

According to Al-Ahram, once completed, the new capital is expected to accommodate 6.5 million residents. Several ministries and government entities like the cabinet and parliament have already relocated to the NAC along with tens of thousands of public employees. When fully operational, the NAC will be home to 50,000 government employees.

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