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On both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the shaliach tzibbur chants "Hamelech" at the onset of Shacharis from his seat and then makes his way to the amud.

The Aruch HaShulchan, OC 584:1 brings down this custom:

שחרית נכנסין לבית הכנסת בהשכמה, ומסדרין הזמירות כמו בכל יום טוב. ומנהגינו לומר "שיר היחוד" ו"אנעים זמירות" ו"שיר של יום" – קודם התפלה. והשליח ציבור לובש הקיט"ל, ומתחיל "אדון עולם" בניגון של ימים נוראים. וכן הברכות, ופסוקי דזמרה עד "המלך יושב" וכו'. ואז הולך שליח ציבור אחר ומנגן על מקומו בניגון מאויים, ומסיים "המלך" בקול, והולך אל העמוד, ומתפלל שחרית

Shacharis they enter to shul in the early morning, and the zemiros are arranged like every Yom Tov. And our custom is to say; "Shir HaYichud", "Anim Zemiros" and "Shir shel yom" before the tefilla. The shaliach tzibbur wears a kittel and begins "Adon Olam" with the Yomim Noraim tune. Similarly, the brochos and pesukei dezimra until "Hamelech Yosheiv" - and then a new shaliach tzibbur goes afterwards, reciting a stirring tune in his place and concludes with "Hamelech" in a loud voice and goes to the amud and davens Shacharis.

Do any sources explain why he starts in his place and not actually from the amud. I have seen sources that discuss why he chants and completes "Hamelech" in a loud voice, but I haven't yet seen anything as to why it has to begin in his seat?

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  • I've seen sephardim including the shliach tzibur generally sit for pesuke d'zimra. Being this is the end of pesuke d'zimra and right before shachris perhaps the shliach tzibur stands up as this point to be standing for the parts of davening he would lead standing?
    – Dude
    Sep 25 at 15:08

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As quoted in this article there are a number of reasons given (although they all seem rather recent, maybe there’s earlier sources as well);

Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that on the Yomim Noroim we are requested to be “machriz,” proclaim and assert that Hashem is king. Therefore, we do it in a more explicit and expressive way. Horav Ribiat Shlit’a quoted from seforim that explain that the Talmud (Gittin 56b) relates that when Vespasian demanded from Rabi Yochanan ben Zakai; “If you insist that I am the king, why then did you not come until now?” Therefore, the shaliach tzibur proclaims that Hashem is king, as soon as he begins his service, even before he reaches the amud.” Horav Dovid Bartfeld Shlit’a contributed two more reasons, namely: The Barditchever Rebbe compared it, to a coach being attacked by robbers and out of desperation one traveler screams aloud; The King! I see The King! And the robbers, out of fear run away. We too scream Hamelech from our seats, so that the Soton, that tends to rob us from having proper concentration and devotion in our tefilos on this most crucial and important day, should run away. He also quoted Horav Melech Biderman Shlit’a that everyone experiences the presence of the King of the Universe in his own particular way, understanding and perception, so to say; from his own seat

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