Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi pledges to be president for all Egyptians
by RICHARD SPENCER
June 25, 2012
The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi was declared Egypt's first democratically elected president, as the Islamist movement cast off decades of persecution to take the most significant step of its long rise to power.
Tahrir Square erupted in an explosion of noise as it was announced that Mr Morsi had defeated Ahmed Shafiq, a retired general and Mubarak-era prime minister, and would become the first leader not to be a Pharaoh, Sultan or General in Egypt's history.
His victory came fully 16 months after the collapse of Hosni Mubarak's dictatorial regime and set the seal on a rise to power for the world's most important Islamist movement following years of its leaders being alternately feared, admired, jailed or killed.
In a televised address in which he praised the police and the army, Mr Morsi said: "I wouldn't be here today as the first freely elected president without the sacrifices of the martyrs", as he declared himself a "president for all Egyptians".
"I call on you, great people of Egypt ... to strengthen our national unity," he said, adding that national unity "is the only way out of these difficult times."
Mr Morsi also promised to "preserve all international treaties and charters... we come in peace," adding "the revolution continues."
But first it faces a struggle with Egypt's powerful military establishment, which retains sweeping powers after dissolving parliament, giving itself a constitutional veto and declaring effective martial law in the days of uncertainty that preceded Sunday's poll result.
It was unclear last night whether the two sides had negotiated any kind of power-sharing deal in return for the army accepting the Brotherhood's triumph. Mr Morsi, an American-educated professor of engineering, was imprisoned under the long dictatorship of Mubarak, the former president, and was briefly detained at the start of the uprising against his rule last year.