News / Middle East

    Morsi Sworn In as Egypt's New President

    Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi (R) poses with a gift from Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi (L), head of Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), during a ceremony where the military handed over power to Morsi at a military base in Hiks
    Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi (R) poses with a gift from Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi (L), head of Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), during a ceremony where the military handed over power to Morsi at a military base in Hiks
    Edward Yeranian
    CAIRO – Mohamed Morsi was sworn in as Egypt's fifth president Saturday, in a low-key ceremony before the country's Supreme Constitutional Court. Later, he addressed supporters and top officials at Cairo University.
     
    Speaking at Cairo University, Morsi took a symbolic oath of office for a third time in 24 hours. He vowed to defend the security of the nation and to uphold the independence of the judiciary.
     
    Morsi also showered praise on Egypt's armed forces, but urged them to return to their primary duty of protecting the nation.
     
    He called the army the shield and the sword of the nation and stressed that its duty is to defend the nation and protect its security from outside threats. He went on to urge the army to go back to its chief duty of protecting Egypt's borders.
     
    Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), sat in the front of the auditorium, listening impassively. The SCAF and Morsi have been locked in a tug-of-war over the exact duties of the new president.
     
    Morsi also vowed, as he has done several times in recent days, to uphold international treaties and accords, but went on to insist - in a pointed reference to Israel - that Egyptians support the Palestinian people in achieving what he called their “legitimate rights.” He added that he would work to restore unity among Palestinian leaders.
     
    • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, center, stands as he is sworn in at the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2012.
    • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi stands before a military honor guard after his inauguration in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2012.
    • Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi (R) poses with a gift from Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi (L), head of Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), during a ceremony where the military handed over power to Morsi at a military base in Hiks
    • Egypt's newly inaugurated President Mohammed Morsi speaks at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2012.
    • Egypt's newly inaugurated President Mohamed Morsi speaks at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2012.
    • Guests react as Egypt's newly inaugurated President Mohamed Morsi appears at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, June 30, 2012.
    • Egypt's newly inaugurated President Mohamed Morsi waves to a crowd assembled at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 30, 2012.

    President Morsi also spoke of a national “rebirth,”  insisting that there is an urgent need for all Egyptians to participate in that rebirth. He went on to urge Egyptians to “put a stop to chaos,” especially in the economy, and vowed to fight for social justice.
     
    Morsi took his official oath of office before Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court earlier in a ceremony that was delayed for several hours. The inauguration was not open to the public, but Egyptian TV broadcast the event live. Security was tight, but traffic continued to flow outside the building.

    The head of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court, Farouq Sultan, presided over the ceremony. Sultan officially retires at the end of the day Saturday and was performing his last official act. He called the inauguration a momentous event.
     
    He described the inauguration as an important day in the history of the nation, insisting that it was an honor and a proud occasion for him to welcome Egypt's first president elected by the will of the people after what he called a free and fair election.
     
    Lawmakers from Egypt's recently dissolved parliament were invited to attend Morsi's speech at Cairo University, despite the decision to unseat them. A last-minute struggle between Morsi and the SCAF to have parliament reinstated failed.
     
    Morsi took a symbolic oath Friday before a large crowd of supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square. He declared that his legitimacy stems from the people and vowed to uphold their will. He also pledged to work for the freedom of Egypt's blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, held in a U.S. prison for collusion in terrorist attacks in the U.S.

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    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 02, 2012 10:26 AM
    Thanks to say that a wrong footing surely shows who's in the driving seat in Egypt. Muslim Brotherhood started with lies and nobody should expect anything else from them. All the promises of fair-play and all that is just so that they be accommodated by the people of Egypt, but I bet they won't be too long to show the cannibal in them. Nothing from the so called Arab Spring has anything good to offer, much less from a fundamentalist islamist man-eaters - thanks Mike Cohen for reminding us - for nothing born of evil can produce good.

    by: Anonymous
    July 01, 2012 1:02 PM
    We need God nothing elso

    by: Michal Cohen from: Israel
    July 01, 2012 4:26 AM
    The election of Mohamed Morsy is something which should have elicited a world-wide shudder of outrage in all peace- and freedom-loving people. The Brotherhood developed close ties to the Nazis, supporting the terrorist activities of Haj Amin el-Husseini in what was then British Mandate Palestine. Its “charitable activities” included disseminating Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. After a number of bombings and assassination attempts, 32 Muslim Brotherhood leaders were arrested in 1948 by the Egyptian authorities and by then-prime minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi, who made the mistake of releasing them. Soon after, he was assassinated by a Brotherhood member. But when the Brotherhood tried to kill president Gamal Abdul Nasser in 1954, it seriously overplayed its hand. The organization was outlawed, its members imprisoned and punished, withering away where they could do no harm, behind lock and key. Morsy is credited with saying he would “achieve the Islamic conquest of Egypt for the second time and make all Christians convert to Islam or pay the jizya [the infidel tax].”

    by: Rita Jones from: London, UK
    July 01, 2012 12:45 AM
    As Egypt has just sworn in its first civil president after seven decades under military leaders, it is hoped that VOA reporting will underline the Freedom and Justice Party [FJP]'s contribution in creating space after long years of suffocating authoritarianism.

    VOA's commentators are expected to remain mindful of the fact that in hardly a few months since the Egypt's first democratically parliament became functional, many judgements were passed about its composition, intentions and capacity to deliver. On the other hand, little was reported about how even after Mubarak's ouster, his cronies remained desperate to roll back any advances to political or social reforms in Egypt.

    It seems that a party created less than 18 months ago was blamed by some impatient media commentators for not being able to correct the wrongs of Mubarak era any soon. Perhaps increased scrutiny of how the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in Egypt is denying the any meaningful powers to the country's democratic elected representatives will become a regular feature of future coverage on Egypt's nascent democracy.

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