Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi has been declared Egypt’s head of state in the region’s first presidential election following the Arab uprisings. Mursi won the election with 51 per cent of the vote.
Mursi’s win makes him the first Islamist head of state in the Arab world and gives the Muslim Brotherhood overwhelming power in Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was forced out of power in a popular unrest in February 2011. The Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political party in Egypt, won 47.2 per cent of the seats in parliamentary elections.
Mursi’s presidency will be welcomed as a break from the regime of Mubarak, but will also be greeted with caution as a result of the power that has now been handed to Islamists and the impact they will have on Egyptian society.
Since presidential run-offs ended on 17 June, both Mursi and his opponent Ahmed Shafiq have claimed victory. With the decision of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) to dissolve parliament and give power over writing a constitution and the budget to itself, tensions between the military and Muslim Brotherhood have been rising.
The military is scheduled to hand over power to a civilian government by the end of July, but following the dissolution of parliament it is unclear whether the Scaf will continue to hang on to power. If constitutional powers remain in the hands of the military, a standoff between Brotherhood-supported protesters occupying Tahrir Square and the army is expected to follow.
The election announcement was greeted by scenes of jubilation in Tahrir Square.
See also: Egypt after Mubarak
An online report looking at Egypt’s transition following the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak