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. There was no immediate reaction from Shafiq’s campaign.
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. 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.