CAIRO (AP) – Mohammed Morsi was declared Egypt's first Islamist president on Sunday, chosen in the freest elections in history that left the nation deeply polarized between supporters of an old regime figure and those eager for democratic change.
It was the culmination of the tumultuous first phase of a transition launched 16 months ago with the uprising that ousted autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak, who was replaced by a ruling military council headed by Mubarak's defense minister of 20 years. It is the start of a new struggle with the military to restore the powers that the ruling generals stripped from the presidency even before the victor was declared.
And it was not the outcome desired by most of the liberal and secular youth groups that drove the uprising.
"The revolution passed an important test," said Yasser Ali, a spokesman for Morsi's campaign. "But the road is still long."
Morsi now has to calm public fears that he will push to remake Egypt as an Islamist state and show that he will represent a broader swath of the public beyond his own fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. He will also have to try to urgently address the major problems facing Egypt, a sharp deterioration in security and a flailing economy.
Morsi narrowly defeated Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq with 51.7% of the vote versus 48.3, the election commission said. Turnout was 51%.( Collapse )