Al-Sissi sworn in as Egypt's president EGYPT TV Reuters
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AP
Supporters of Egypt's president-elect Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi wave national flags and his posters as they celebrate the official announcement declaring him the next president of Egypt. June 5, 2014 Photo by AP

Egypt's former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi was sworn in as president on Sunday for a four-year term, taking the reins of power in a nation roiled since 2011 by deadly unrest and economic woe.

Al-Sissi's inauguration came less than a year after the 59-year-old career infantry officer ousted the country's first freely elected president, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, following days of mass protests by Egyptians demanding he step down.

Al-Sissi took the oath of office before the Supreme Constitutional Court at the tribunal's Nile-side headquarters in a suburb south of Cairo, the same venue where Morsi, now on trial for charges that carry the death penalty, was sworn in two years ago.

Sunday was declared a national holiday and tight security was enforced by the police and military throughout Cairo.

Al-Sissi's swept the presidential victory with nearly 97 percent of the vote in an election that it said saw a turnout of 47.45 percent.

After he was officially declared the landslide winner, he told Egyptians it was now "time to work" to rebuild the country.

His supporters and the media have cheered the fierce crackdown on Morsi's supporters that has killed hundreds and arrested thousands the past 11 months.

But a return of a career military man to the presidency has also raised fears among many Egyptians that al-Sissi will impose a new autocratic order along the lines of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president for 29 years until he was ousted in a popular uprising in 2011. Already, there have been arrests of secular critics of the military-backed government, and law issued after Morsi's ouster virtually bans protests, allowing only those with police permit.