Mohammed Morsi Wins Egyptian Presidency
Egyptian president-elect Mohammed Morsi on Monday said in an interview published by the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars that his country will work toward closing ties with Iran, while preserving its international obligations, a promise The Jerusalem Post considers a reference to Israel.
The Iranian agency quotes Morsi to say that the ties with Iran will balance the pressure in the area, which in turn will make sure that Morsi’s political program can be carried out. The statement was made hours before the election results were officially announced on Sunday.
In his first speech as president, Morsi promised to preserve the international obligations of the country, with reference to the peace treaty with Israel. Morsi made sure that the people of Egypt were reassured that his new mandate will not lead to the Islamization of the country, promising to be a president for all the people in the populated northern African country.
The new president was careful not to tackle the matter of the military grip of power, calling the military leaders as “brothers.” The victory by a narrow margin over former Mubarak Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq marks the end of the Mubarak era, but not necessarily the end of social turmoil created by the ouster of the former regime.
The military supreme council, which grabbed power in February 2011, at the end of weeks of protests against Mubarak’s rule, which brought him down, leaving the power into the hands of his former military colleagues.
The military has had to deal with a very difficult year, as the Egyptian democracy was being born very difficultly, with renewed protests, with sit-ins of the people in the iconic Tahrir Square, with the need of the police and the army to open fire on the protestors.
This created the premises for the military to attempt to defend their privileges and attempt to avert possible prosecution for the violence that occurred over the last year, when the military was in power. Egyptian military has always had a special place in the society, and all the leaders before Morsi came from the military, including Hosni Mubarak.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces was expected to hand over power to the civilian by the end of July, but the military seems eager to create a constitutional framework to allow it to preserve a very important saying in the political and economic fields.
For that reason, they issued a constitution decree two weeks ago by which the presidential powers were clearly restricted in favor of the military. Thus, by this decree, the president was no longer the leader of the army, had no right to dissolve the constituent assembly or the make-up of the government.
The budget issues are also under the control of the military by this decree and the creation of the new constitution is to be achieved by a 100-member assembly appointed by the military rulers.
The constituent assembly has been dissolved earlier this year by a court of justice, due to allegations of lack of representation formulated by the leaders of the Christian community and those of the secularists and liberals.
The dissolution of the constitution panel was followed by the dissolution last week of the parliament itself, dissolved by the supreme council. The Muslim Brotherhood had a comfortable majority in the parliament, and with the winning of the presidential office they were expected to monopolize power in the country, though they have promised to treat all segments of society with the dignity and fairness required by a democratic rule.
The supreme council also re-established a National Defense Council, which places the military at the head of the national security issues. The right to arrest civilians for trial in military courts until the new constitution takes effect, which was granted to the police and the military by the Justice Ministry, was seen by many as a de facto institution of the martial law.
Mohammed Morsi is expected to be sworn in on June 30, and will start forming a government. The president-elect was congratulated by world leaders, including the American president Barack Obama, who promised to cooperate with Egypt on the basis of mutual respect.
People in Egypt cheered on hearing about Morsi’s victory, and the celebration is said to have been prolonged until the early hours on Monday. People were said to have shouted in the streets: “Down with the military!” while the president-elect promised that “the revolution will go on” until all the objectives have been fulfilled.11