» 06/24/2012, 00.00
Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, wins the presidential elections in Egypt
The candidate of the Freedom and Justice party defeated the challenger Ahmed Shafiq with 51% of the vote. Tens of thousands of Islamists take to the streets to celebrate the new president, after 30 years of Mubarak's government. The army threatens to impose a curfew in case of disturbances.
Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Mohammed Morsi, leader of the Freedom and Justice party (of the Muslim Brotherhood) has won the first presidential elections of the post-Mubarak era. According to official figures published this afternoon by the election commission, he beat his challenger, Shafiq Ahmed, former Premier of the regime and favored by the military, with 51.3% of the vote.
Tens of thousands of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi this morning have crowded the main squares in the country, including Tahrir Square, the symbolic place of the Jasmine revolution. Immediately after the announcement of his victory, the crowd shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) and other Islamist songs, which have now replaced the slogans in favor of democracy, human rights and the Secular State sung by the young protagonists of the Arab Spring. About 2,000 supporters of Ahmed Shafik gathered instead in the district of Nasr City (Cairo), contesting the results of the vote. To avoid clashes between Islamists and supporters of Ahmed Shafiq, the army has deployed thousands of soldiers, announcing that it will impose a curfew in the case of tension.
In a statement, the newly elected president announced he would form an inclusive government comprising all elements of Egyptian society and appealed to all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, to participate in the construction of the new Egypt. To reassure the minority Coptic Christians, Morsi promised he does not want to turn the country into a theocracy, and that he wishes to respect the rights of other religions, while reserving to Islam a central portion of the Government.
Morsi, 60, studied engineering in the United States. On account of his membership in the Islamist movement, he spent several years in prison during the early years of the Mubarak government. After the fall of the regime, Morsy collaborated in founding the Justice and Freedom Party, the political expression of the Islamic movement that won the parliamentary elections, which were recently annulled, with more than 50% of the vote. He replaced in the Egyptian presidential race Kairat al-Shater, the architect of the campaign of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was prevented from running because he is an ex-con.
The results of the presidential vote were to already have been announced on June 22, but the Election Commission preferred to wait because of tensions between Islamists and the army, after the cancellation of the parliamentary elections also won by the Islamists. Fearing another victory for the Muslim Brotherhood, on June 17 - a few hours before the closure of the polling stations - the army passed an amendment reducing the powers of the president and giving the military the power to appoint a new Constituent Assembly, manage foreign funding and call new parliamentary elections.
Hopes and fears of the international community concerning the new Egyptian president Morsi
The Head of State has initiated consultations to form the government. Washington "will continue" the process of "transition". Israel asks that the peace agreements be respected. From Palestine, requests for support under the banner of their "blood ties". The congratulations of the Arab and Gulf countries; the silence of Saudi Arabia.
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Al-Azhar’s double game to Islamize Egypt and maintain power
In recent years the authorities of the most important Sunni university, supported the youth of the revolution and are now with the Muslim Brotherhood. For the great scholar of Islam Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, such behavior is typical of the University, which has always supported those who govern. The new constitution based on Sharia will not transform Egypt into an Islamic state, for now. It takes advantage of the ignorance of a population that only trusts imams, all formed by al-Azhar. The document is primarily a ideological move by Islamists to appear like "real Muslims" before the Islamic world. Sharia, Islam, religion reassure the population. The future game of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Islam itself will evolve in the coming months on specific topics: jobs, the economy and development.
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Tens of thousands of people have been thronging the streets for days. The results of the first clashes with the police is already two dead and one seriously injured. The demonstrators: "A revolution to save the revolution." André Azzam, an Egyptian journalist, explains to AsiaNews the climate these days in the capital, which after a year is back in the hands of pro-democracy movements. More than 50% of the population is tired of Islamists accused of having brought the country to the brink of civil war. The eerie silence of the military leadership which has passed into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Islamists warn the democrats: "Do not play with fire."
Young Muslim: We can only rebuild Egypt together with Christians
Mohamed Elhariry, a young businessman in Cairo, reveals the on the ground reality of life in recent months in Egypt. The young man says the Muslim Brotherhood "have lied to everyone, they never wanted a democratic state. The real Egypt is multi-denominational".
Law to stifle protest and demonstrations
The goal is to stop protest against the constitutional referendum manipulated by the Muslim Brotherhood. The military junta still has to approve the decree. Many fear an agreement between extremists and the army to maintain the country’s stability at the cost of freedom and democracy.
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