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International
Last Updated: June 25, 2012
Er Mohammed Morsi Declared Post-Revolution Egypt’s First President
By A U Asif


A view of Er Morsi’s campaign headquarters after victory

New Delhi, June 24 According to agencies, newspapers and other relevant websites, Er Mohammed Morsi has been declared the new President of Egypt, following the first democratic election in Egypt's history. The announcement triggered massive cheers and celebratory gunfire in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Authorities had been on "high alert" for potential violence if his rival Gen Ahmed Shafiq won. Instead, the huge crowd erupted in celebration -- even in scorching temperatures near 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius).

Ikhwanul Muslemeen-backed Er Morsi had more than 13 million votes, while Gen Shafiq, the last Prime Minister to serve under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, had more than 12 million, election officials announced. Er Morsi ended up with just under 52% of the vote, while Gen Shafiq got just over 48%, officials said.

Ikhwan’s Al Horreya Wal Adala, on Facebook, called the election result a "tribute to the martyrs of our revolution." It vowed, "We will keep walking on the path."

Sunday's (June 24) announcement came after a very long speech by Farouq Sultan, head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission (SPEC), in which he defended the electoral process and discussed reports of irregularities and how they were handled. Each campaign had accused the other of election fraud. Both candidates -- who faced each other in a runoff last weekend -- had already declared victory. Before the announcement on Sunday, both campaigns repeated that claim on Facebook.

Officials, calling for calm before the announcement, warned that they were ready to carry out long-standing policy of using deadly force against people who attack government buildings. The only gunfire heard from Tahrir Square after the announcement was celebratory. The square was the site of mass protests last year that toppled Mubarak.

Results from last weekend's runoff elections were originally to be announced on Thursday (June 21), but were postponed until Sunday (June 25). Ahead of the announcement, rumours flew of fraud and secret bargains made to favor rival candidate Gen Ahmed Shafiq.

Regardless of the election's outcome, however, it is Egypt's military that remains in power. The 16 months since Mubarak was ousted, it has assumed control of all key branches of state. Just before elections last weekend, the ruling generals dissolved Egypt's popularly elected parliament, which was dominated by the Islamists. Shortly after polls closed, they amended Egypt's Constitution to strip power from the incoming President. Powers of arrest and detention have also been broadened.

Extra security forces have been deployed around the country since June 23. Armoured vehicles, troops and riot police are stationed at Cairo's airport, around Parliament and throughout the streets of the city. Sunday is a work day in Egypt, but employees were sent home early over concerns of new violence – many stopping to stock up on food and jewelry along the way.

Reactions

"I will treat everyone equally and be a servant of the Egyptian people," Er Morsi said at his campaign headquarters in Cairo shortly after polling ended last Sunday (June 17). He gave up his membership of the Brotherhood after being elected on June 24.

Gen Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force commander and Mubarak's last prime minister, offered no immediate reaction. He has said he would offer to serve in a Morsi administration.

On the other hand, Wael Ghonim, who helped organize the 2011 revolution, tweeted: "The first elected civilian Egyptian president in the history of modern Egypt. The revolution continues."

Hamdeen Sabahy, the secular leftist who finished a close third behind Gen Shafiq in the first round, called on Morsy to "swiftly form a national presidential administration and a government that expresses national reconciliation and represents all currents and the diversity of Egyptian society powers". For Morsy a spokesman said: "This is a testament to the resolve of the Egyptian people to make their voice heard."

Egyptian reform leader Mohamed El Baradei -- the former head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate -- warned that if Shafik was declared the winner, "we are in for a lot of instability and violence ... a major uprising." He said there were fewer security concerns about a Morsi victory because Shafik supporters were unlikely to take their anger to the streets. Before the results were announced, ElBaradei described the current situation as "a total, complete 100% mess."

Mohamed Mahsoob, a law professor at Menofiya University and a member of Al Wasat Party, tweeted: "The revolution will succeed, even if the newly elected President is below expectations because we will have the right to change him. But the revolution will not succeed if we have a President from the old regime that we toppled because he will be working on seizing it back (and) reversing the accomplishments."

Amr Moussa, who served as Foreign Minister under Mubarak and mounted an effort to win the presidency in these elections, said "the next Egyptian President must call upon everyone to stand united as one." According to state-run news agency MENA, Moussa called on the new President "to head an emergency government of technocrats" that would last six to 12 months.

On the other hand, Wael Ghonim, who helped organize the 2011 revolution, tweeted: "The first elected civilian Egyptian president in the history of modern Egypt! The revolution continues."

Also See
Blow-By-Blow Coverage of Result

 


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