Morsi to announce Cabinet in days
BY EGYPT MONOCLE
Cairo: Tahrir Square erupted in celebration as the head of Egypt’s Presidential Election Committee (PEC) announced the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsi.
PEC chief Farouk Sultan said that Morsi won 13,230,131 votes, accounting for 51.73 percent.
His rival, the last Mubarak-era prime minister and military man Ahmed Shafik raked in 12,347,380 votes, which is 48.27 percent, in an election that saw 51 percent voter turnout, with over 26 million Egyptians showing up at the polls.
During the press conference, Sultan detailed some of the main appeals filed by both candidates, and explained PEC’s decisions, emphasizing that overall, the complaints involved under 100 polling stations out of 13,000 and so had little impact on the final count.
Mohamed El-Tamimi, leading MB member, said the Cabinet of Ministers will be announced within days, but that negotiations for its premier are still ongoing.
Yasser Ali, spokesperson of Morsi’s campaign, said that Morsi is adamant on taking the oath before parliament.
When asked if he would delay taking the oath, he said that Morsi was already elected and that anything else is procedural.
“This is a significant change in the course of the revolution,” said Khalil Al-Anani, scholar at the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University in the UK.
“Morsi victory will put an end to the Mubarak regime, it’s not that absolute, with only 51 percent, but it is very significant.”
Al-Anani described Morsy’s victory as a “hallmark” in the revolution’s path, however he was cautious of the challenges that lie ahead.
He explained that Morsy will have to aquire more authorities from SCAF, distance himself from the Muslim Brotherhood and reposition himself as a president for all Egyptians.
On his part, political activist Wael Khalil said that Morsy’s victory is the result Egyptians have known.
“This is the result that says that the first phase of the revolution has succeeded. This is just the start of a real transition. It’s one battle we have won but we are continuing the fight against SCAF,” he told The Egypt Monocle.
“There is a legislative crisis that must be solved, there’s a justice minstry decree that we have to fight against,” he added referring to a controversial decree issued earlier this month authorizing military-intelligence officers and military police to arrest civilians.
Egypt’s first post-Mubarak presidential election has been the battleground for a fierce confrontation between pro-revolutionary forces and the counter-revolution.
Youth groups at the forefront of the January uprising such as the April 6 Youth Movement had officially endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential bid against ex-air force pilot Ahmed Shafik, seen as an extension of the Mubarak regime.
But support for the MB has been compromised by their Freedom and Justice Party’s unimpressive performance in parliament since it was seated last January and flip-flopping political discourse over the past 16 months, prioritizing the group’s interests over national consensus.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces however had still maintained veto power over PA legislation, in a prelude to the vacuous presidential powers of the new president.
In a unilaterally declared addendum to the interim constitution issued hours after voting ended in the election runoff and days after a Supreme Court Ruling dissolved parliament, SCAF broadened its powers, giving it far-reaching executive and legislative authority.
It also took control over the budget and opened the door for the military rulers to dissolve the current constituent assembly and effectively preside over the drafting of the new constitution.
Pundits have long doubted SCAF’s commitment to a complete power handover in a bid to shield the army budget from public oversight and to ensure safe exit and lack of accountability to the council’s existing members.
When asked about the addendum, the dissolved parliament and the justice ministry decree and Morsy’s authority to affect these decisions, El-Tamimi said, “He is a president backed by the revolution and will achieve the demands of the revolution.”
Despite Mosri’s victory, it remains to be seen whether the Tahrir protests against the constitutional addendum and the dissolution of parliament will be rolled back.
“I think they will continue [the fight against constitutional declaration] but not at the same momentum. It would be contradictory, they have to give some space, some relief for Morsi to work,” Al-Anani told The Egypt Monocle.
“[The MB won't clear out of Tahrir] at least not in the coming few days. They will remain to make a distinction between the election and the resistance to the coup conducted by the military,” he said.
Ali reiterated that the Tahrir sit-in will continue until all demands are met.
“It’s a different situation now that he is a president,” he said.
“Decisions since June 16 were taken without consulting political powers as usual, now we ask everyone to join the dialogue so we can find solutions.”
Ali explained that there are several loopholes that can help parliament resume its activities. “Several legal experts have suggested things like only dissolving third of parliament,” he said.
“We are not after confrontation.” –Reporting by Rania Al Malky, Amira Salah-Ahmed, Sarah El Sirgany and Dalia Rabie