Morsi named Egypt president

Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday won Egypt's hotly-contested presidential run-off beating former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, as the Arab Spring that ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak finally bore fruit, giving the country its first non-military president.

Mursi, 60, was named the fifth president of Egypt after narrowly beating off competition from rival Shafiq, in the presidential polls held on 16-17 June.

Announcing the results, the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission [SPEC] head Farouq Sultan said Mursi, won 51.73 per cent of the vote, beating his rival Shafiq. Morsi won 13,230,131 votes against Shafiq who clinched 12,347,380. Sultan said the election commission had upheld some of the 466 complaints by the candidates, but that the election result still stood. Both candidates had already declared victory in the hours before announcement leading to a tense stand-off between the two camps. The announcement prompted scenes of jubilation in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, where thousand's of Mursi's supporters had gathered since on Saturday.

'God is greatest' and 'down with military rule', they chanted as some set off fire crackers minutes after the election commission formally declared the results.

Authorities in Egypt had been on 'high alert' in advance of the announcement, concerned about what could happen if Shafiq won.

Officials had said they were ready to carry out long-standing policy of using deadly force against people who attack government buildings. Mursi's win in Egypt's first-ever genuine multi-candidate presidential elections puts an end to a 60-year military monopoly of the position.Agencies


An engineer turned politician, Mohammed Morsi has come a long way to become the first freely elected President of Egypt that saw its strongman Hosni Mubarak being ousted in what is now famously called Arab Spring.

Although, not their first choice as a presidential candidate, the powerful Muslim Brotherhood threw its weight behind Mursi, 60, the chairman of its Freedom and Justice Party [FJP].

A champion of Brotherhood's famous slogan - 'Islam is the solution' - Morsi describes its policies as having 'a moderate Islamic reference'.

A more quietly-spoken man, Morsi got the support of Brotherhood's grassroots network and what is often referred to as an highly organised campaign team.

The famous quote that sums up Mursi's campaign is 'The presidency will be an institution... the Superman era is over'.

His campaign was about bringing 'stability security, justice and prosperity'. He rose to the top position in Egypt by craftIly positioning himself as the challenger to the Mubarak's old guard.

Keen to ward off any accusations of being a hardliner, Morsi has suggested he would appoint Coptic Christians among his presidential advisers and that an Islamic dress code would not be enforced. He was among the guests at this year's Coptic Christmas Eve mass.

Morsi hails from a village in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya and is married with four children.

He has studied Engineering at Cairo University in the 1970s and later moved to US to complete a PhD.


Palestinians in Gaza celebrated on Sunday, as Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was named winner of Egypt's presidential election, with Hamas hailing a 'historic moment.'

And the Palestinian Authority in charge of the West Bank issued its own congratulations to Morsi, who is set to become Egypt's first post-uprising president.

Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar told AFP that the victory was 'a historic moment and a new era in the history of Egypt,' as Gazans cheered and fired volleys of celebratory gunfire in the streets of the Palestinian territory.

The Hamas Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip has long-standing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, and grew from the Egyptian organisation that saw its candidate win 51.73 percent of the vote to defeat ex-prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

Zahar called Morsi's victory 'a defeat for the programme of normalisation and security cooperation with the enemy,' referring to Israel.

The Palestinian Authority also congratulated Egypt's president-elect. 'We congratulate Doctor Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, on his win in the Egyptian presidential elections, and his election as president of Egypt,' Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

The Palestinians have closely watched Egypt's post-uprising transition, with Hamas hailing the rise of its traditional ally the Muslim Brotherhood, which also won a majority in Egypt's parliamentary elections.
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