Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi declared new president of Egypt

The Guardian reports: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi has been declared Egypt’s first post-revolutionary president, bringing an end to days of feverish speculation amid increased divisions and polarisation.

Morsi won with 51% of the vote. Second-placed Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s final prime minister, took 48%.

The incoming president assumes office after a turbulent few weeks that have left Egypt’s wrenching transition in disarray, with parliament being dissolved by the supreme court and a military-issued constitutional declaration that severely limits presidential powers.

Both sides quarrelled over tactics in the wake of the polls closing. The Muslim Brotherhood announced Morsi as the winner six hours after voting ended, having tabulated the results from the 13,000 poll stations.

The Shafiq campaign responded angrily, claiming its candidate was actually the one leading the race. The supreme council of the armed forces (Scaf), Egypt’s ruling military leadership, waded in, criticising the Brotherhood for its “unjustifiable” premature announcement.

Meanwhile, talk of backroom negotiations between the Muslim Brotherhood and Scaf was confirmed by the group’s deputy head, Khairat Al-Shater, as the two sides traded barbs over the country’s political future. The Muslim Brotherhood held a press conference on Friday in conjunction with liberal forces, during which it attempted to mollify its critics.

Morsi will have much to occupy his first few days of office, encumbered by the overreach of the generals and the divisive nature of Egyptian politics.

“The symbolism of a presidential election victory, particularly for Morsi, will be an achievement in and of itself,” said Mike Hanna, fellow at the Century foundation. “But after that initial euphoria has evaporated, he will be faced with difficult circumstances, a tired and impatient nation, and an ongoing power for political power.”

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