Key moments of Sisi’s decade as Egypt’s most powerful man

(Reuters) -Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is set to secure a third term in an election on Dec. 10-12. The following is a timeline of his decade as Egypt’s most powerful man.

July 2013: Sisi, then military chief, deposes Egypt’s first popularly elected president, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi, who came to power after the 2011 uprising that removed veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

August 2013: Security forces kill hundreds of Mursi supporters in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square. A widespread crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, labelled a terrorist organisation by Sisi, has continued since then.

May 2014: After resigning from the military, Sisi is elected president in a landslide but low-turnout election. His only rival gains just 3% of the vote.

August 2015: Aiming to increase dollar revenues, Sisi opens an expansion of the Suez Canal, one of several signature mega-projects he has launched, including a new administrative capital in the desert east of Cairo and a high-speed rail network.

November 2016: The central bank devalues the Egyptian pound by about one third, and soon after the International Monetary Fund approves a $12 billion bailout for the struggling, import-dependent economy.

2016-2017: Sisi draws public criticism and legal challenges over a decision to hand over two uninhabited Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia, which has given billions in aid and investment to Egypt during his rule.

November 2017: An Islamic State affiliate, Sinai Province, kills more than 300 people at a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula, the most lethal attack by an insurgency that escalated after Mursi’s overthrow. Sisi launches a northern Sinai-focused military operation that eventually allows the state to consolidate its grip on the region.

April 2018: Sisi is declared winner of a second presidential election in April 2018, again garnering 97%. The main challenger was arrested, while others pulled out before the vote.

April 2019: A referendum approves constitutional amendments to extend Sisi’s term in office and allow him to run for a third one, as well as increase his and the army’s grip on the government. Opponents call the moves a “power grab”.

March 2020: While the coronavirus pandemic hits Egypt’s lucrative tourist trade, continued IMF and other international financial inflows allow Sisi to press on with mega-projects including the new capital.

February 2022: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rapid outflows trigger a series of sharp devaluations of the Egyptian pound beginning in March, creating a dollar shortage as the country lurches into an economic crisis. Many Egyptians who were already struggling financially are faced with rapidly accelerating inflation.

October 2023: The conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip puts neighbouring Egypt on the diplomatic stage, mediating aid deliveries and hostage negotiations while loudly rejecting any mass displacement of Palestinians.

(Writing by Nafisa Eltahir; editing by Aidan Lewis and Mark Heinrich)