Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist and a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, won the Egypt’s presidential runoff on 24 June 2012, Sunday. He won by a narrow margin over Ahmed Shafiq, the last Prime Minister under-deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. As per the Commission, Morsi clinched 13,230,131 (51.7%) votes versus 12,347,380 (48.3%) votes for Shafiq. This makes him Egypt’s first democratically elected leader and the first President since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular political uprising last year.
World leaders have congratulated Morsi on his victory. White House described Egypt’s presidential election as a “milestone” in country’s transition to a democracy and further urged Egypt to be “a pillar of regional peace”.
Morsi, the first Islamist to be elected to the Egyptian presidency, has declared that he will be a leader “for all Egypt”. He called for unity in his first speech since being declared country’s next leader, saying said he carries “a message of peace to the world” and that “the revolution continues, until all demands are met”. He also pledged to preserve Egypt’s international accords, a reference to the peace deal with Israel. However, the new President did not mention the last-minute power grab by the ruling military.
The military council, which ruled the Arab nation when Mubarak stepped down, earlier this month, curbed the power of presidency. The changes meant that the head of the state will have to work closely with the army on a planned democratic constitution.
The SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces), which took over power in February 2011 after the fall of the long-time leader Hosni Mubarak in anti-government protests has affirmed to hand over the power to the new President before June-end.
When the winner was announced, a huge number of Muslim Brotherhood supporters holding a vigil in Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted in jubilation. Egyptians wept and hugged as in their world this marked the beginning for a change. Morsi’s supporters packed the Square, chanted amid wild cheering.
The Egyptians are ecstatic and equally determined with regard to their demands. This is a good sign. However, there is still a doubt among various minds whether the new President would create an Islamist-dominated government. I personally think that Morsi won’t do anything like that as it would only become a threat to his power. The countrymen now need to brace themselves for the struggle to come as Mohd. Morsi inherits a country with a battered economy and the ruling military still very much in power after President Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow 16 months ago. The only thing which could hinder Egypt’s development now is the association of the army. If the army backs down, there seems no stopping the ancient country’s progress.