Newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to work for restoration of the democratic rights of the Egyptian people, whom he called "my family" and "my beloved."
"I have no rights, only responsibilities. If I do not deliver, do not obey me," Morsi said in his victory speech on the state television as tens of thousands of people thronged capital Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, to celebrate his victory by waving Egyptian flags and chanting "God is great" and "down with military rule."
The Electoral Commission announced on Sunday night that Morsi, 61, had officially won Egypt's Presidential election.
Morsi secured 13.2 million (51 percent) of the over 26 million votes polled in last week's presidential runoff against his rival Ahmed Shafik, the last Prime Minister under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, who received 12.3 million votes. More than 800,000 ballots were invalidated, the Al Jazeera reported.
In his nationally televised address, Morsi, a Ph.D. in engineering, also reached out to the army, the police, and Egypt's intelligence services, thanking them for their work in protecting the country, and promised to "preserve" the military.
Hailing Morsi's electoral victory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a statement that he "respects the outcome" of the election, and "expects to continue cooperation with the Egyptian administration."
Morsi had made an oblique reference to Israel in his victory speech, when he promised to "keep all international treaties," a vow which would include the 1979 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. The White House also congratulated Morsi, and urged him to "advance national unity by reaching out to all parties and constituencies."
Bishop Pachomius, the prelate of Egypt's Coptic Church, issued a short statement congratulating Morsi. The Coptic community constitutes about ten per cent of Egypt's population, and some were worried by Morsi's candidacy, fearing that his government would restrict their personal freedoms.
The President-elect is expected to take his oath of office later this month before the country's Supreme Court - though a spokesman said on Facebook that Morsi would take the oath in front of Parliament, the "only elected institution" in the country.
The Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement that Morsi had resigned his positions in both the Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), fulfilling a campaign pledge.
Morsi's victory puts an end to more than a week of behind-the-scene negotiations between the Brotherhood and the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). He had claimed victory just hours after last week's runoff election, based on unofficial figures tallied by the Brotherhood, but the Electoral Commission delayed its official announcement until Sunday.
Morsi has begun talks to form a Presidential team and a Cabinet that "would truly represent Egypt after the revolution," according to a statement on the Brotherhoods Twitter.
Shortly before the closure of the polls last week, the ruling Generals had issued a decree sharply curtailing the powers of the new President. It permitted the President to declare war, for example, only with the approval of the military council.
SCAF will also keep control of legislative powers, 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 FJP, but it was dissolved earlier this month after a high court ruling found parts of the electoral law unconstitutional.
Saad el-Katatni, Speaker of the now-dissolved Parliament, had also met with officials from SCAF, and told them that the Brotherhood would not accept the court ruling or the election-night decree. But it is unclear whether the Brotherhood ultimately accepted those decisions in exchange for the presidency.
by RTT Staff Writer
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