Egyptians Excited about Electing a New President
Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected President of Egypt last weekend with 51.7% of the run-off vote, defeating former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, widely accepted to be the unofficial candidate of former president Hosni Mubarak’s pre-revolution regime.
The election followed significant concerns about behind-the-scenes manipulation by Egypt’s military council to ascertain a win for Shafik. The final tally puts him at 48.2% with 12,347,380 votes, to Morsi’s 13,230,131. Morsi will be sworn in July 1.
The president-elect received his Ph.D . in engineering from the University of Southern California in 1982. He served as an Assistant Professor at California State University, Northridge, before returning to Egypt to teach in 1985. Like many of the Tahrir Square protesters of 2011, the 60-year-old spent some time in jail under the Mubarak regime prior to taking the place of disqualified Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat al-Shater, the Party’s original choice.
The military council will still retain control of the Egyptian army, the largest in the Middle East. Morsi has pledged to respect all international treaties that Egypt has signed, including those signed with Israel in 1979—an essential agreement for continued US aid.
Five hundred days after the ouster of Mubarak, the result is a historic win for the revolutionary movement—but clashes between it and the old regime will likely continue into the future.
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