Egypt’s President-elect Mohammed Mursi to be sworn in

Posted by on Jun 30, 2012 | Comments Off on Egypt’s President-elect Mohammed Mursi to be sworn in


Egypt’s first freely elected leader, Mohammed Mursi, is due to be sworn in, a week after his victory in a disputed poll was confirmed.

He will then speak at Cairo University, before going to an army base for the handover from military rule.

On Friday, he praised crowds in Tahrir Square, the focal point of protests that ousted Hosni Mubarak last year.

Mr Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, will read the oath before the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Mr Mursi said Egypt under him would be a civil nationalist state, without mentioning his party’s goal of Islamic rule.

At every stage Mr Mursi has moved to reassure those nervous about the Muslim Brotherhood, both at home and abroad,

It is a mixture of populism and pragmatism that he is going to need for the battles ahead, our correspondent adds.

Mr Mursi swore a symbolic oath before thousands of people who had gathered to protest against decrees issued by the country’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf).

The military stripped the presidency of many of its powers in recent weeks.

However, Mr Mursi told supporters: “I promise you that I will not give up on any of the powers given to the president.”

He promised to be a president for all Egyptians, saying: “The revolution must continue until all its objectives are met.”

Fear nobody

Mr Mursi is due to be sworn in on Saturday at 11:00 local time (09:00 GMT)

Spokesmen for the Muslim Brotherhood had previously said Mr Mursi would take his oath before parliament, which was dissolved by the Scaf last week.

The assembly, elected last November, was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and other Islamists.

Mr Mursi also promised to take steps to develop Egypt’s struggling economy and to conduct foreign affairs with “dignity”.

Handling relations with the Scaf is likely to be a key test for Mr Mursi as he begins his term of office.

The Scaf had previously said it would hand over power to Mr Mursi by the end of the month.

On Friday, Mr Mursi also pledged to work for the release of civilians detained by the military, and to seek justice for those killed and injured in last year’s uprising.

He also said he would work to free militant Islamist Omar Abdel-Rahman, imprisoned in the US over the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993.

At one point Mr Mursi opened his jacket to show the crowd he was not wearing a bulletproof vest, saying: “I am reassured, thanks be to God and to you. I fear nobody but God.”

However, Scaf member Major-General Mohamed al-Assar told Egyptian media earlier this week that the head of Scaf, Field-Marshal Hussein Tantawi, would remain as defence minister under Mr Mursi.

Also on Friday, Mr Mursi performed prayers at Cairo’s al-Azhar mosque, one of the most prominent seats of learning in Sunni Islam.

He has sought to allay fears among some secular and Coptic Christian Egyptians that he will use his presidency to impose Islamic law.

Mr Mursi’s campaign has said he plans to appoint a woman and a Coptic Christian as his vice-presidents.



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