Mohamed Morsi was declared the new president of Egypt on Sunday, following the first democratic election in Egypt’s history.
The announcement triggered massive cheers and celebratory gunfire in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Authorities had been on “high alert” for potential violence if his rival Ahmed Shafik won. Instead, the huge crowd erupted in celebration — even in scorching temperatures near 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius).
Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, had more than 13 million votes, while Shafik — the last prime minister to serve under ousted president Hosni Mubarak — had more than 12 million, election officials announced.
Morsi ended up with just under 52% of the vote, while Shafik got just over 48%, officials said.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, on Facebook, called the election result a “tribute to the martyrs of our revolution.” It vowed, “We will keep walking on the path.”
Morsi Is Winner of Egyptian Presidency
New York Times, By David D. Kirkpatrick, June 24
Cairo – Election regulators named Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood the winner of Egypt’s first competitive presidential elections, handing the Islamist group a symbolic triumph and a new weapon in its struggle for power with the ruling military council.
After an hourlong speech in which he detailed dozens of specific inquiries down to the ballot-box level, the chairman of the election commission, Farouk Sultan, announced that Mr. Morsi had won 51.7 percent of the runoff vote completed last weekend. The other candidate, the former general Ahmed Shafik, won 48.3 percent.
In Tahrir Square, where hundreds of thousands had gathered to await the result, the confirmation of Mr. Morsi’s win brought instant, rollicking celebration. Fireworks went up over the crowd, which took up a pulsing, deafening chant: ”œMorsi! Morsi!”
Mr. Morsi now becomes the first Islamist elected to be head of an Arab state. But his victory is an ambiguous milestone in Egypt’s promised transition to democracy after the ouster 16 months ago of President Hosni Mubarak.
An “ambiguous milestone”? – Thanks, NYT!
Washington Post: Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate likely to make strong showing in Egypt – “Who is Mohammed Morsi?”.
Washington Post: Mohamed Morsi named new Egyptian president.