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 the country’s crackdown on dissent since he ousted Islamist leader Mohamed Mursi last year.
Last month’s presidential 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.
Before a panel of judges at the Supreme Constitutional Court, Sisi swore to protect Egypt’s republican system, unity law and the interests of its people.
Western countries, who hoped the overthrow of Mubarak in 2011 would usher in a new era of democracy, have watched Egypt’s political transition stumble.
Mursi’s year in power was tarnished by accusations that he usurped power, imposed the Brotherhood’s views on Islam and mismanaged the economy, allegations he denied.
After Sisi deposed him and became Egypt’s de facto ruler, security forces mounted one of the toughest crackdowns on the Brotherhood in its 86-year history. Hundreds were killed in street protests and thousands of others jailed.
Secular activists were eventually thrown in jail, even those who supported Mursi’s fall, because they violated a new law that severely restricts protests.
Here are some key events from more than three years of turmoil and transition in Egypt:
Feb. 11, 2011: Autocrat Hosni Mubarak steps down after 18 days of nationwide protests against his nearly 30-year rule. The military takes over, dissolving parliament and suspending the constitution after the uprising leaves hundreds of protesters dead in clashes with security forces.
Nov. 28, 2011 – Feb. 15, 2012: The Muslim Brotherhood wins nearly half the seats in multi-stage elections for the first post-Mubarak parliament, while ultraconservative Salafi Islamists take another quarter. The remainder goes to liberal, independent and secular politicians.
June 18, 2012: The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Morsi defeats Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister, with 51.7 percent of the vote in a runoff, taking office on June 30 as Egypt’s first freely elected president.
Aug. 12, 2012: Morsi removes the defense minister and military chief, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and replaces him with Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Nov. 22, 2012: Morsi unilaterally decrees greater powers for himself, giving his decisions immunity from judicial review and barring the courts from dissolving a panel charged with drafting a new constitution. The move sparks days of protests.
Dec. 15 – Dec. 22, 2012: Egyptians approve a constitution drafted and hastily passed by Islamists amid protests and walkouts by other groups, with 63.8 percent voting in favor but a low turnout of 32.9 percent.
March 12, 2013: Egypt rejects an offer of a $750 million rescue loan from the International Monetary Fund. In the coming months, fuel and electricity shortages stoke discontent, while a campaign called Tamarod, or “Rebel,” gathers signatures calling …continued »