By NVONews.Com Middle East Correspondent,
Cairo: After much delay and suspense Mohammad Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood was on Sunday finally declared as the first democratically-elected President of Egypt.
According to the Higher Election Commission he got 51.7% of votes in the election held on June 16-17. He thus defeated former general and Hosni Mubaak’s last Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq. Mubarak was overthrown on Feb 11, 2011.
But it is to be seen how powerful the new President would be as the military junta had just after the June 16-17 election usurped much of the power and even dissolved the Parliament in which Brotherhood had the majority.
There was fear that the military may declare Ahmed Shafiq as the winner as the election result was postponed from Thursday to Sunday. Thousands of people took to streets since Monday to press for the announcement of result and to protest the taking away of the power of the President.
The army might have been pressurized by the turn out at Tahrir Square and agreed to declare Mursi as victorious. But how much power it is going to give to the new President is yet to be seen. He will have to work closely with the army on a planned democratic constitution.
Mursi is a 60-year-old, US-educated engineer who spent time in jail under Mubarak. In fact he got an opportunity to contest election only after the first candidate of the Brotherhood was disqualified. In the first round he got highest number of votes to be followed by Ahmed Shafiq. But since both got less than 50 per cent votes the top two contenders went to contest the second round.
Mursi thanked the people of the country and pledged to form an inclusive government to appeal to the many Egyptians, including minority Christian.
The new President said that he would respect international treaties, notably that signed with Israel in 1979, on which much of the aid of the United States depends. Middle East watchers are interpreting it as a change in stand of the Muslim Brotherhood, earlier known for its hard stand on the issue.
As Mursi would be the first president of the country without any army background, he would be keenly watched by one and all. Egypt is the most populated nation of the Middle East with the largest army in the region. Any development here would be closely watched and imitated.
Sunday’s election result ended Muslim Brotherhood’s 84 year long wait to form and Islamic Republic in Egypt. It was found in 1928 by Hasan-al-Banna. The Brotherhood, right from the rule of General Nasser to Hosni Mubarak faced a lot of persecution and many of its leaders, including Hasan-al-Banna were martyred.