Egypt’s Morsi calls for unity after poll win
Egypt’s president-elec, Mohamed Morsi, is set to building a civilian administration to overcome deep political division, and to coax a mistrustful army into relaxing its grip on power.
Behind the scenes, talks were already under way between the Muslim Brotherhood and generals to resolve disputes that blew up this month over steps by the ruling military council to hem in the powers of the first freely elected president Egypt has known.
Morsi retains the right to appoint the prime minister and cabinet. He has already begun talks to form a presidential team and cabinet that “would truly represent Egypt after the revolution,” according to a statement on the Brotherhoods’ Twitter account.
Egyptians select first new president of post-Mubarak era
Morsi claimed victory just hours after last week’s runoff election, based on unofficial numbers tallied by the Brotherhood, but the commission delayed its official announcement until Sunday.
In the intervening days, Khairat al-Shater, the Brotherhood’s political boss, met generals from SCAF at least once. Sources say they were negotiating exactly what powers the president will have.
Shortly before the polls closed last week, the generals issued a decree sharply limiting the powers of the new president. It permitted him to declare war, for example, only with the approval of the military council.
SCAF will also keep control of legislative power, and the budget, until a new parliament is elected. Egyptians went to the polls in November to elect a legislature, which was dominated by the Freedom and Justice Party, but it was dissolved earlier this month after a high court ruling found parts of the electoral law unconstitutional.
Despite Morsi’s victory, many of those questions about his power remain unanswered.
Gehad el-Haddad, Morsi’s campaign spokesman, said in an interview shortly after the results were announced that Morsi would work to be a “president for all Egyptians”.
“This is not the end of the game, it’s a start of a huge responsibility,” el-Haddad told Al Jazeera.
“It comes with more challenges, turning from being the largest opposition group in Egypt to leading the country with its national front.”
Explosion of joy
Cairo’s Tahrir Square, theatre of the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak, exploded in joy – and relief – on Sunday as Morsi was declared the narrow but convincing winner of last weekend’s presidential run-off against Ahmed Shafik, another scion of the military establishment which has ruled Egypt for 60 years.
The president-elected delivered a victory address on Sunday night. He spoke on state television, long a medium which demonised him and the Muslim Brotherhood. He thanked the Egyptian people for their votes, calling them “my family” and “my beloved,” and promised to work to “restore their rights.”
“I have no rights, only responsibilities,” Morsi said. “If I do not deliver, do not obey me.”
The final results
Turnout: 26,420,763 (51 per cent)
Invalidated votes: 843,252
Morsi: 13,230,131 votes (51.7 per cent of valid votes)
Shafik: 12,347,380 votes
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