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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Morsi sworn in as Egypt's new president

Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate and winner of elections, has been officially sworn in before Egypt's High Constitutional Court as Egypt's first civilian president

Nada Rashwan , Saturday 30 Jun 2012
Morsi
President Morsi Swears-in by the High Constitutional Court (Photo: Ahram)
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Egypt's first elected civilian president, Mohamed Morsi, takes his oath before the general assembly of the High Constitutional Court, composed of 18 top judges, lead by Farouk Sultan.

One street away from the military hospital where ousted and jailed president Hosni Mubarak lies, the Islamist president swore in at the Pharaonic-inspired premises of the High Constitutional Court that Mubarak inaugurated.

The ceremony was broadcasted live by state television, after an apparent change of plans: state television had earlier announced the ceremony would be recorded and aired at a later time.

The national anthem played to mark the beginning of the ceremony, with Morsi sitting between Sultan and his deputy judge, Maher El-Beheiry.

Farouk Sultan congratulated Morsi on behalf of the judges' general assembly in an opening speech ahead of the oath-swearing.

"May God assist you with the challenging task you are taking on," said Sultan, adding that "based on article 30 of the Constitutional Declaration announced on 18 June, 2012 I call you to swear the oath," Sultan concluded.

Following Sultan's speech, Morsi recited the oath.

The Constitutional Declaration Sultan referred to specifically by date is the highly-controversial addendum passed on 17 June to the Constitutional Declaration, which the Muslim Brotherhood and several secular revolutionary groups have been demonstrating against in Tahrir Square for the past week.

The question of who will witness and officiate Morsi's swearing in is also highly controversial. Parliament was the body before which the next president was to swear the oath, yet a High Constitutional Court ruling in effect dissolved parliament on 14 June.

Egypt's ruling military council, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), issued an addendum to the Constitutional Declaration at midnight on 17 June, where they dictated that the new president will swear-in before the general assembly of the High Constitutional Court (HCC) instead of parliament.

A debate arose that if Morsi swore in before the High Constitutional Court could be interpreted as acceptance of the authority of the Constitutional Declaration, which is widely criticised by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and several other political groups, including the influential April 6 Movement.

Hours after the FJP's candidate, Morsi was declared the winner on Sunday 24 June, Saad El-Husseini, a member of the executive FJP, confirmed that Morsi would take his oath of office before parliament and not before Egypt's High Constitutional Court. 

However, early on Monday, Brotherhood leader and MP of the now-dissolved parliament, Sobhi Saleh, reportedly confirmed to Egypt's official news agency, MENA, that Morsi would, indeed, be sworn in before the HCC. He stressed however, that in accepting this, Morsi is not accepting the dissolution of parliament. The presidential office also released an official statement confirming Morsi will be swearing-in in front of the HCC.

Protesters in Tahrir Square are also protesting the recent High Constitutional Court decision that dissolved the Islamist-led parliament. At the square, in a symbolic gesture, Morsi read the swearing-in oath in Tahrir Square Friday before the protesters.

Morsi is now expected to be en route to the Cairo University main campus to give his inaugural speech before thousands of political figures and foreign diplomatic delegations.

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