Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is sworn in as Egypt’s new president

BY Kayla Ruble  June 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM EDT
CAIRO, EGYPT - JUNE 8: Egypt's new President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi reviews the honor guard during the handover ceremony in front of the Ittihadiya presidential palace in eastern Cairo, Egypt on June 8, 2014. Al-Sisi, Egypt's former defense minister, was sworn in by the Supreme Constitutional Court as the country's new president after winning last month's presidential poll. (Egyptian Presidency/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Egypt’s new President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in front of the Ittihadiya presidential palace in eastern Cairo, Egypt during his inauguration ceremony on June 8.  Credit: Getty Images/Pool/Anadolu Agency

Egypt’s new president and former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was sworn into office on Sunday following last week’s elections — the second free elections in the country’s history.

El-Sissi will take on a four year turn nearly a year after he helped lead the removal of then-president Mohamed Morsi from office last July during weeks of heated protests.

“The presidency of Egypt is a great honor and a huge responsibility,” el-Sissi told a group of local and foreign dignitaries gathered after the ceremony. Leaders came from countries throughout the region including Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The military official was the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and after Morsi’s ouster he was appointed as Egypt’s First Deputy Prime Minister. Thousands of Morsi supporters were detained and hundreds killed during his time as prime minister.

El-Sissi held the positions until March of this year, when he resigned in order to run for the country’s highest office.

The 59-year-old leader said he will pursue regional security and stability during his time in office.

“It is time for us to build a future that is more stable and pen a new reality for the future of this nation,” he said, urging Egyptians to work hard in order to develop and grow their rights and freedoms.

Acting president Adly Mansour who was installed after Morsi’s overthrow will return to being the Supreme Constitutional Court’s chief justice.

Police and troops were deployed in Cairo as inauguration ceremonies kicked off during the day on Sunday, which was declared a national holiday.