Egypt's president-elect Mursi begins work on government

 
Mohammed Mursi supporters continue their celebrations in Cairo, 25 June Mursi supporters continued their celebrations during the day in Cairo

Egypt's president-elect, Mohammed Mursi, has moved into his new office in the presidential palace and begun work forming a government he says will represent all of the people.

The Muslim Brotherhood candidate, who defeated ex-PM Ahmed Shafiq, could be sworn in by the end of the month.

However, the ruling military council has taken many presidential powers and questions about his authority remain.

A new constitution, the economy and security will be his main priorities.

'Stability'

The prime minister appointed by the military rulers, Kamal el-Ganzouri, met Mr Mursi on Monday to resign formally and assume caretaker duties until the new president's team is in place.

One of Mr Mursi's campaign spokeswomen, Nermine Mohammed Hassan, told Agence France-Presse: "He has already started with a list of names he is considering. He says he will declare the cabinet soon."

Mohammed Mursi

Mohammed Mursi
  • Aged 60, married with four children
  • Comes from a village in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya
  • US-educated engineering professor; teaches at Zagazig University
  • Rose through the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood
  • Has been praised for his oratory as an MP
  • After toppling of Hosni Mubarak, he became chairman of Brotherhood's FJP party

Another Mursi spokesman, Yasser Ali, said the president's key concern was political stability.

State television showed Mr Mursi meeting on Monday with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling military council, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf).

Field Marshal Tantawi said the military would "stand by the elected, legitimate president and will cooperate with him for the stability of the country".

Mr Mursi has promised to appoint a range of vice presidents and a cabinet of "all the talents".

One key point of discussion with the Scaf will be the court-ordered dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament, which happened days before the presidential run-off vote.

Because of the dissolution of parliament, it is unclear where the new president will take his oath of office.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been seeking a partial recall of parliament so that he is sworn in before MPs. However, the Mena news agency quoted a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman as saying the oath would be taken before the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Emad Abdel-Ghaffour, head of the ultra-conservative Islamist al-Nour party, told Associated Press that although the election result had eased the tension, there was still much mediation needed between the Islamists and the Scaf on the president's powers.

The Scaf has led Egypt since last year's revolution and issued a series of recent decrees:

  • The justice ministry gave soldiers the right to arrest civilians for trial in military courts until the ratification of a new constitution
  • A decree was issued dissolving parliament after a court ruling that the law on elections to the lower house of parliament was invalid
  • The Scaf granted itself legislative powers and reinforced its role in the drafting of a permanent constitution
  • Field Marshal Tantawi announced the re-establishment of a National Defence Council, putting the generals in charge of Egypt's national security policy

Shares on Egypt's main EGX30 index soared on Monday in the first trading since the results were announced, sparking a half-hour suspension. The halt in trading is triggered by a mechanism designed to prevent market fluctuations greater than 5%.

Gains continued on the restart, with the EGX30 on the Egyptian Exchange closing 7.6% up.

'Milestone'

In his victory speech on Sunday, Mr Mursi, 60, urged Egyptians "to strengthen our national unity" and promised an inclusive presidency.

"There is no room now for the language of confrontation," he said, after the election authorities declared that he had won 51.73% in the 16-17 June presidential run-off.

Mohammed Mursi: ''The revolution goes on"

On hearing the news of his victory, tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters cheered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, chanting, "Down with military rule!".

Celebrations continued into Monday, with some protesters saying they would not leave the square until parliament was reinstated.

Mr Mursi paid tribute to the protesters who died in last year's uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak but also praised the role of Egypt's powerful armed forces.

He also said he would honour international treaties.

Responding to Mr Mursi's election, the White House called the result "a milestone for Egypt's transition to democracy".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday: "We expect to work together with the new administration on the basis of our peace treaty."

There was confusion over an alleged interview quoted by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency. Fars said Mr Mursi planned to expand relations with Iran to "create a balance of pressure in the region", but Mr Mursi's spokesman denied the interview had taken place.

 

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Egypt in transition

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  • rate this
    +18

    Comment number 59.

    Millions of little girls will continue to be subjected to Female Genital Mutilation in agony with no aneasthetic or even access to medical care.

    This was outlawed under Mubarek and the Muslim Brotherhood have already stated they will not prioritise convicting those who carry it out. It is a human tragedy. Remember what happened to ordinary Iranians in 1979 - a massive step backwards!

  • Comment number 58.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 57.

    >5. Donald Rockhopper
    >Has life improved since “regime change” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt? I doubt it. Certainly the west should stop its ham-fisted meddling. We are broke and it doesn't improve matters.

    Actually "Regime change" in this case has been led by the Egyptians, not by the West, and it has been peaceful (except for attempts to suppress it).

    It deserves our support.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 56.

    51. I'd have thought the obvious motivation for US sponsorship of the Egypt military was to keep the border with Gaza under control.

    Quite happy to debate whether the US should be doing that, but it's silly to suggest the US did this to oust Mubarak when i) They were never that bothered about him, and ii) there was no knowing who the army would side with come the revolution.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 55.

    If the majority elects a religious party then it is purely within their basic right. It is in this basic right that protects the minority or those who lost in the elections. After all this president is one to all and must respect and even go one step further in pleasing the minority. This is what we call a tolerant society. Fanatics and far right mentalities are of no good to any nation on earth.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 54.

    I am missing something or what ? Egypt now has a President with no control over the army, no control over the military budget, no control over the legislature, no control over the constitution and no parliament. What has he got ?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 53.

    Let's hope there will be some benefit for the Egyptian people.

    AND SPEAKING OF BENEFITS...........

  • Comment number 52.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 51.

    "45.Chris Neville-Smith
    Not sure how this fits into the theory that it's all a US-orchestrated conspiracy, so feel free to explain."

    Firstly it's not a conspiracy that the US have recently given $1.3 billion to the Egyptian army, second fact the Egyptian army is trying to retain power.

    I would consider the 1.3 billion dollars sponsorship to protect US interests otherwise whats the point?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 50.

    @43.JUANCOLINA
    "As per usual it is impossible to discuss anything sensibly with religious fanatics."

    I'm an atheist and a libertarian.

    The difficulty you are experiencing is inability to question rationally anything that disagrees with your diet of media-fed propaganda.

    I'm open to discussion, but you've made no attempt to discuss anything.....

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 49.

    The “pharaohs” are not happy; they see it as blasphemous to respect people rights. Who will bow to them?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 48.

    Honeymoon time. Everyone is safe and the brotherhood are nice and moderate....

    We will see..... ;-)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 47.

    I don't know how to feel about Mursi. In a country with a worryingly powerful military it's great to have the military's man denied power, but I'm not sure a religious conservative is a great alternative.

    He's making the right noises so far, but the litmus test will be how they deal with abuses against women and religious minorities.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 45.

    38. "Do you blame the Egyptians for not wanting a US sponsored military dictatorship?"

    Well, the military were loyal to Mubarak but switched sides to the protestors. There is now a 3-way division of power between Mubarak sympathisers, Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers and the military.

    Not sure how this fits into the theory that it's all a US-orchestrated conspiracy, so feel free to explain.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 44.

    Congratulations to Mohammed Mursi on his victory and to all Egyptians on their first democratically elected president. A free society equals free elections plus informed citizens minus religious zealots. Egypt is about half of the way there.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 43.

    Ref -
    35.farkyss
    2 Minutes ago

    As per usual it is impossible to discuss anything sensibly with religious fanatics.

    The Western democracies had its own problems with religious fanatics
    - 500 years ago.

    Islam could learn from our mistakes.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 42.

    When religion, any religion gets involved in politics, there is inevitably going to be disasterous consequences for some.
    Laws should be logical and rationally thought up, discussed and debated and inacted in a sensible manner.
    All evidence suggests the MB will not do this , instead putting gods will above mans/womans...and only disaster will follow.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 41.

    Like it or not Mohammed Mursi was elected. I don't see how anyone can condemn him purely on the basis that his party is the Muslim brotherhood - a party condemned by alQaeda for supporting democracy & non-violence. Yes it has a fanatical wing - but what party doesn't?

    The downside of giving people the right to choose is that sometimes they make a choice you disagree with - it's called democracy.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 40.

    My best friends is from Egypt, lives in England wih his English wife and their daughter. He is intelligent, kind and honest. I think he puts most westerners to shame.

    He gives Mursi his support, and I value his opinion more than what I've see here. You're scared of the word 'Muslim'. From my experiences (as an atheist) with the Muslim people, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 

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