Morsi wins Egypt's presidential election | World | Ammon News

Morsi wins Egypt's presidential election

[6/25/2012 12:00:00 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi has officially won Egypt's presidential election and will be the country's next president, the electoral commission has announced.

Morsi picked up 13.2 million votes out of just over 26 million, giving him about 51 per cent of the vote. His competitor, Ahmed Shafiq, the final prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, received 12.3 million. More than 800,000 ballots were invalidated.

Farouq Sultan, the head of the election commission, delivered a long speech before announcing the results in which he defended the body's "independence and integrity" amidst what he called meddling by unnamed political factions.

The two candidates filed 456 complaints about the electoral process, Sultan said, most of them allegations of either forgery or Christian voters being blocked from polling stations in Upper Egypt. The vast majority of those complaints were dismissed.

Tahrir Square erupted into celebration after Morsi's victory was announced. Tens of thousands of his supporters waved Egyptian flags and chanted "God is great" and "down with military rule."

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's military ruler, congratulated Morsi on his victory, state television reported. Reactions also trickled in from around the region: The governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the Palestinian Authority congratulated the winner.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said in a statement that he "respects the outcome" of the election, and "expects to continue cooperation with the Egyptian administration."

There was no immediate reaction from Shafiq's campaign.

Bishop Pachomius, the caretaker pope of Egypt's Coptic Church, issued a short statement congratulating Morsi. The Coptic community makes up about 10 per cent of Egypt's population, and some were worried by Morsi's candidacy, fearing that his government would restrict their personal freedoms.

Gehad el-Haddad, Morsi's campaign spokesman, said in an interview shortly after the results were announced that Morsi would work to be a "president for all Egyptians."

The president-elect is expected to take his oath of office later this month in front of the country's supreme court - though a spokesman said on Facebook that Morsi would take the oath in front of parliament, the "only elected institution" in the country.

The Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement that Morsi had resigned his positions in both the Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, fulfilling a campaign pledge.

Political uncertainty ahead

Morsi's victory caps off more than a week of behind-the-scenes negotiations between the Brotherhood and the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). He claimed victory just hours after last week's runoff election, based on unofficial numbers tallied by the Brotherhood, but the commission delayed its official announcement until Sunday.

In the intervening days, Khairat al-Shater, the Brotherhood's political boss, met generals from SCAF at least once. Sources say they were negotiating exactly what powers the president will have.

Despite Morsi's victory, many of those questions about his power remain unanswered.

"This is not the end of the game, it's a start of a huge responsibility," el-Haddad told Al Jazeera. "It comes with more challenges, turning from being the largest opposition group in Egypt to leading the country with its national front."

Shortly before the polls closed last week, the generals issued a decree sharply limiting the powers of the new president. It permitted him to declare war, for example, only with the approval of the military council.

SCAF will also keep control of legislative power, and the budget, until a new parliament is elected. Egyptians went to the polls in November to elect a legislature, which was dominated by the Freedom and Justice Party, but it was dissolved earlier this month after a high court ruling found parts of the electoral law unconstitutional.

Saad el-Katatni, the speaker of the now-dissolved parliament, also met with officials from SCAF, and told them that the Brotherhood would not accept the court ruling or the election-night decree. But it's unclear whether the Brotherhood ultimately accepted those decisions in exchange for the presidency.

Either way, the military council - which has promised to hand over power to a civilian government on June 30, in a "grand ceremony" - will remain a powerful force in Egyptian politics, despite the election of a civilian president.

Comments on this story? Share your thoughts below.

* Al Jazeera

  • 1 Egypt! Who Won, Who Lost and What Is Next! 6/25/2012 1:49:36 AM

    People who love Egypt should wish Morsi the best. Also the Arabs, used to election results of 99.9% of the total votes for the dictator, any Arab dictator, would look at the first Arab transparent elections with admiration and respect. Arabs would dream about what took place in Egypt would take place soon in their respective countries! They dream of their countries of becoming another "Turkey" of Ardogan! When the celebration ends, however, and Morsi sits in the presidential seat, the impoverished and illiterate Egyptians with high expectations are going to wait and wait, and I hope I'm wrong. It would take no less than a miracle to solve Egypt's chronic "ills". But, first, who were the winners and the losers as a result of the Egyptian presidential election? There are short-term and long-term winners and losers. The short-term winners include the obvious: The revolutionary youth of Tahrir Square who hated Mubarak and his cronies; the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and their candidate Morsi; the world-wide Muslim Brotherhood organizations and their ideological leader, the Qatari-based Sheikh Yousef Al-Qardawi, who urged the Egyptians to vote for Morsi; the Qataris, including Al-Jazeerah, who were enthusiastically, with words and deeds, rooting for Morsi; and last, but not least, the Egyptian military which strengthened its grip on power following the toppling of Mubarak. The short-term losers include the remnants of the Mubarak regime and Israel. WHO are the long-term losers? Except the revolutionary youth, the short-term winners are likely to be the long-term losers! Why? 1-- The Muslim Brotherhood: When the MB won the majority of the people's Assembly, they stated repeatedly that they will not "run" for the presidency. Egyptians believed them and saw the new Assembly as a democratic and legitimate body to keep the future president in check! But the MB faced strong criticism when it reneged on its promise to stay out of the presidential race. Many Egyptians saw the MB as a greedy organization untrustworthy! The results of the elections explains that mistrust. Out of 51 million Egyptians who were eligible to vote, 13 millions voted for Morsi and 12 millions voted for the last PM of the Mubarak era! That means about 25% of eligible Egyptians voted for the MB candidate and 24% for Mubarak man, Shafiq! And, to add an insult to an injury, no doubt that few millions voted against the hated Mubarak/Shafiq system by voting for Morsi, and few millions voted against the MB/Morsi by voting for Shafiq!? Where is the much vaunted Muslim Brotherhood "effective" political machine? Doesn't the results of the elections indicate that the standing of the MB and the Mubarak regime among the Egyptians are almost equal!? Morsi's solving Egypt's chronic problems is the only way to "save" the MB in Egypt (and beyond), and that is a near impossible mission. 2-- The second long-term losers are the Qataris. The Egyptian media and officials acknowledged that the Qataris helped financially the MB. The Qatari director of the military intelligence was caught meeting secretly with the MB leadership. Two reasons for the Qataris to side with the Egyptian Brotherhood: a--The Qataris want to play a role in the future of Egypt and its policies! Their support for the MB and their control of Sheikh Al-Qardawi will help them to achieve that and b-- Since the son toppled the father in 1995, the Qataris see Saudi Arabia as their major "challenger". Bringing Egypt closer to tiny Qatar is a significant step towards "weakening" Saudi Arabia! It was obvious that the Saudis were hoping that Shafiq would win the Egyptian presidency. The failure of the MB and Morsi will lead to a major Qatari setback in Egypt and beyond. And, if only for age, Sheikh Al-Qardawi is likely to be "out of touch" when the Qataris need his services. 3-- The third long-term loser is another Qatari tool, the popular Al-Jazeerah and its outlets, like Al-Jazeeranet. Al-Jazeerah, like its owners, didn't hide its agenda in Egypt. It has been covering extensively the Egyptian revolution and the MB since February of 2011. It gave more time for the MB candidates to explain their views than to their opponents. Viewers were always reminded that Shafiq was close and loyal to Mubarak. Since it was announced that Morsi will face Shafiq in the runoff elections, Al-Jazeerah tried to mislead its viewers that Morsi was the overwhelming favorite to win the presidency. When the readers of its outlet were asked to vote on "who would you vote for" in June 16 and 17, Morsi or Shafiq, results were reported June 9 as follows: out of 39,000 votes, Morsi won by 81.49% to Shafiq's 18.51%--63% margin!! Also, the minute the polls closed on June 17, Al-jazeerah began to broadcast results showing that Morsi was winning by a huge margin! After reporting that Morsi won Banha by wide margin, Anchor Mohammad Kraishan went to his colleague, Thamir Al-Misshal, who was inside one of Banha's polling station, for a live report. Al-Misshal reported that, based on what he was told by the judge of that station, results will start to be known in one to two hours! In short, contrary to Al-Jazeerah claims and figures, the final and undisputed figures were: Morsi won by 51.73 of the votes to Shafiq's 48.27%. Very close indeed! Does that mean the credibility of Qatar's gem Al-Jazeerah is further deteriorated? That depends on which side the viewer stands, but its claim for "neutrality" in covering events is questionable. Who are the long-term winners in Egypt? The Youth and democracy and that is another subject for another article.

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