Islamist Mursi Is Egypt’s First Post-Revolution President

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi, an American-educated engineer, has been elected the first post-revolution president of Egypt. Hundreds of thousands, many Mursi’s supporters and Brotherhood members, had assembled in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and shouted his name after the results were announced by Egypt’s election chief, Farouk Sultan.

The crowd also set off fireworks, waved flags and resounded with cries of “Allahu Akbar” and “Say! Don’t fear! The military must go!”. The latter were references to the recent moves by the military and the ruling military council, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), to hold onto power in Egypt. The other candidate in the election, Ahmed Shafiq was deposed leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and an air force commander who had campaigned on a law and order platform.

Earlier in June and the day before the runoff election, the SCAF, under Field Marshal Tantawi, dissolved Egypt’s Parliament, where Islamists had won a majority of seats. Two days later, just as the polls were closing, the SCAF granted itself legislative power through an interim constitutional decree, re-enforced its role in the drafting of a new constitution, reaffirmed its exemption from civilian oversight and gave itself far-reaching powers in detaining civilians. This past Monday, Tantawi announced that the National Defense Council, which would put the generals in charge of national security, would be reestablished. The SCAF has pledged to hand over power to the new president by June 30.

Protests arose after the military’s announcement of its new powers and tanks and troops have been stationed around Tahrir Square, where many members of the Muslim Brotherhood had camped out to wait for the election results.

Mursi won 13,230,131 votes, 51.73 percent, compared with Shafiq’s total of 12,347,380, or 48.27 percent. The turnout in last weekend’s voting was 51.58 percent.

As the Guardian says, Mursi’s victory marks the first time that an Islamist will lead Egypt; it is also the first time that a “freely elected civilian has come to power” in Egypt. Mursi more than has his work ahead of him. The military’s moves limit his authority and, as the BBC reports, many of Shafiq’s supporters were simply “stunned” by the result, with people “screaming and crying and holding their heads in despair.”

The months of transition after the fall of Mubarak have been marked by violence, including a deadly riot at a soccer match in Port Said and attacks on Coptic Christians. The tensions and unrest have scared away both investors and tourists, says Bloomberg, and made it far more difficult for Egypt to obtain a $3.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. As Teymour El-Derini, the Cairo-based director of Middle East and North Africa sales trading at Naeem Brokerage, says in Bloomberg, Egypt is “split in two”: “The new president has to make everyone happy. There won’t be much patience.”

Gehad el-Haddad, Mursi’s campaign spokesman, said that he would be a “president for all Egyptians.” As he also noted to Al Jazeera, the presidency “comes with more challenges, turning from being the largest opposition group in Egypt to leading the country with its national front.”

Previous Care2 Coverage

Egypt Delays Announcing Winner in Presidential Election

BREAKING: Hosni Mubarak Reportedly “Clinically Dead”?

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Claims Victory, Shafiq Disputes

Photo by Gigi Ibrahim

36 comments

sheila h.
sheila haigh6 years ago

Antonia W – to pick out a couple of highly selective quotes with the intention of spreading fear, and ignore everything else that has been said does demonstrate a fear of something in the publisher, in this case, a fear of Islam, i.e. Islamophobia. I note that Elizabeth K totally ignores his most recent words in his speech on Sunday, where he sought to bring all people of Egypt, of all regions and all religions and the secular, together and announced he would govern for ALL Egyptians, and that he intends to appoint both a woman and a Christian as Vice Presidents. True Muslims honour and respect women and Christians, as they are commanded to in the Qur’an. Sadly, some followers of all religions use religious texts to justify the oppression/repression of others – sound familiar? Which camp does President Mursi fall into? Like most people on this thread, we don’t yet really know, and like the people of Egypt, we are prepared to wait and see – “By their deeds shall ye know them”.

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sheila h.
sheila haigh6 years ago

Correction: in my last post, it should have been “non-military/non-muslim brotherhood voters”.

Kasia Y – you may not like the options the people of Egypt had to choose between, but they’ve made their choice in a free election. That’s called democracy. And although there may have been some fiddling going on behind the scenes by the military, and over 50% of the electorate boycotted the vote, I’d say it was a more democratic result, given the 2 options, than Bush 2’s in 1999. Now, because you don’t like the result, you want the international community to embargo Egypt? Get real. It’s not easy transitioning from dictatorship to democracy, but without any previous experience, I think Egypt has done pretty well so far, although, as I said there is more to do. In my opinion, in the first ballot there were too many candidates fighting for the non-military/non-muslim brotherhood vote, fragmenting that share of the vote, but the Egyptians are an intelligent people and I’m confident that, given time, they will solve this issue.

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Antonia Windham
Antonia Windham6 years ago

Sheila, since when is it 'Islamophobia' to publish quotations by the new Egyptian President? Unless you've evidence the quotations mentioned by Elizabeth K are wrong (always possible), he said what he said. If a quotation expresses an thought unpleasant to some, that isn't the fault of the publisher, but of the speaker.

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Kasia Y.
Kasia Y.6 years ago

Where is the international communities embargo against Egypt? Why is another Iran and another Pakistan permitted to be formed? Egypt will simply become yet another terrorist nation. Islam, like all religion, must be eliminated.

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sheila h.
sheila haigh6 years ago

Oh, and let's not forget Elizabeth, that more than 50% of Egyptians did not bother to vote in this run-off election, deciding that they had been given a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea (I'll leave everyone to decide for themselves which candidate was which). So the vast majority did not want either the military or the Muslim Brothers - its just a pity that the miltifarious oppositions couldn't manage to bring themselves together to consolidate the votes of the non-military/non-muslim voters - but I believe that will happen over time. And for sure, the Egyptian people will not stand idly by and let any one individual hi-jack their revolution. Interesting times.

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sheila h.
sheila haigh6 years ago

Elizabeth K. – your Islamophobia is showing. Stop trying to whip up hate. US politicians are past masters of extreme statements to win the support of their base, then tack towards the centre when they need to appeal to a wider electorate.

No-one knows yet what measures he will try to bring in, not that the military have left him with much power to even run the water system.

Most people on this site are prepared to wait and see, and hope he governs according to his statements on Sunday. “The proof of the pudding …….” and all that.

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Elizabeth Koenig
Elizabeth Koenig6 years ago

President-elect Morsi said this in a speech he delivered at Cairo University:

“The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal”.

This is the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood.

More:

Today Egypt is close as never before to the triumph of Islam at all the state levels, he said.

“Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia. The Muslim Brothers and the Freedom and Justice Party will be the conductors of these goals,” he said....

None of this bodes well for women, liberals, the Copts, or relations with Israel and the West.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah H6 years ago

This is going to be a serious problem for the west!

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sheila h.
sheila haigh6 years ago

Between the election and the declaration of the result, the judges (Mubarak/military appointees) cancelled the previously elected parliament and the constitution, and the military took most powers back to itself. What is left for Mursi to govern with? I have no doubt that between election day and declaration day there has been a whole load of horse-trading going on behind the scenes between the military and Mursi (no doubt with pressure from USA) to ensure he would only be allowed the presidency if he agreed to run things their way, in other words, another puppet. With a president (with virtually no powers), a military (with nearly all the powers), no constitution, and no parliament, effectively it is another dictatorship. He says he will govern for ALL Egyptians and we can only hope this is the case. The Egyptian people and the world will be watching closely over the coming days and weeks to what he can do to re-establish parliament, a constitution, and develop democratic institutions. They are on the first rung of the ladder, but many more steps to take.

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Arild Warud

Let's wait and see how the Egyptian Generals will react.

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