Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi has been named Egypt’s fifth president after narrowly defeating his rival, Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq, in the hotly-contested presidential elections’ runoffs. His victory, however, is barely expected to bring immediate stability to the turmoil-hit country. The final results, which gave 52 per cent of the vote to Mursi, were announced around 4:30pm, Sunday, at the Cairo headquarters of the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC). The announcement sparked massive celebrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt’s uprising. … “I would like to thank the military council, the judicial system and the police for their efforts in making the elections clean and fair,” Mursi campaign manager Ahmed Abdel-Atti said shortly after the announcement.
Mursi, who resigned as head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) shortly after the result announcement, launched his presidential campaign after Brotherhood second-in-command Khairat El-Shater was disqualified from the race by Egypt’s electoral commission in April. El-Shater was disqualified due to a prior criminal conviction under the Mubarak regime. Mursi’s win in Egypt’s first-ever genuine multi-candidate presidential election puts an end to a 60-year military monopoly on the office of president. His predecessors, who ruled the country since the 1952 Free Officers’ coup – Mohamed Naguib, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Anwar El-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak – all came from within the army’s ranks.
Mursi’s victory, however, does not mean that the military will loosen its current grip on power. Recent decisions by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) give the military junta expanded authorities at the expense of both parliament and the office of the presidency.