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News Analysis: Morsi faces tough challenges as Egypt's new president

English.news.cn   2012-06-25 11:46:53            

by Marva Yehia

CAIRO, June 25 (Xinhua) -- As Mohamed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory in Egypt's presidential election and became the first civilian president in the Egyptian history, he was faced with daunting tasks to carry out reforms and restore the country's stability.

Morsi, chairman of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, got 51.73 percent of votes in the run-off, defeating his rival Ahmed Shafiq, who got 48.27 percent, the Higher Presidential Election Commission declared on Sunday.

It was the first time that Egyptians held their breaths for so long to see a president for the nation elected by their own free choices and felt the importance and value of their votes.

Ahmed Ban, researcher with the Nile Center for Political and Strategic Studies, described Morsi's triumph as "a victory for the Egyptian revolution and a serious tangible push for the Arab Spring turmoil," given the fact that Egypt is a pivotal state and a locomotive for changes in the Islamic world.

Moreover, he believed the victory of the Brotherhood's candidate would change the face of the Islamic world.

However, Hany Raslan, an analyst with the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, considered the Islamist's victory as a mere victory for the Brotherhood, since "the Egyptian revolution's values and demands couldn't be fulfilled by the Muslim Brotherhood because of its failures in the recently-dissolved parliament.

Morsi has vowed to build a modern, democratic and civil state. "Morsi could restore stability to the country that has suffered security tensions since last year's turmoil," said Ban.

Morsi has to prove to the Egyptians that he is a president for all, said Ban. "The Muslim Brotherhood's announcement of ending the membership of Morsi is a positive step."

Ban expected Morsi to seek to build a cabinet encompassing all national forces and parties.

But there are fears that the new government might be dominated by the Brotherhood.

The coming period will witness a tug of war in the writing of a constitution and parliamentary re-elections, which are the biggest challenges for Morsi, said Raslan.

He added the president-elect alone could not accomplish the many changes for the country because many important institutions have not yet been completed.

Morsi has pledged to achieve national reconciliation, which is a good step, but substantive practices, not promises are needed to realize reconciliation, added Raslan.

He expected the new president to form a short-run coalition government, which will be dissolved after the next parliamentary elections.

Fakhry Tahtawy, a professor of political science at Cairo University,said the lawsuit demanding the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood will be an embarrassing challenge facing Morsi. It was filed against the Muslim Brotherhood's legality and has been adjourned to September.

How he is going to handle it is still a big question, he said.

"I think the secret bargains and flexibility with the armed forces will give Morsi more space to move in," Tahtawy said.

The Tahrir Square is also a challenge for the new president, the professor said.

If Tahrir's protestors defy the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who took power to govern Egypt from departing president Mubarak early last year, will the new president accept their protests while he badly needs to form good ties with the armed forces to mitigate accumulated tensions? he asked.

Morsi will take his presidential oath in the next step. As the lower house of parliament was annulled on June 14 based on charges that the parliament election law as unconstitutional, the SCAF's supplementary constitution declaration stipulated that the new president should be sworn in before the general assembly of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood has been rejecting the total dissolution of the parliament and the supplementary constitution declaration, which limits the president's powers. For its part, the army has insisted on the two decisions.

The political transition is far from being over in Egypt. The new president can only handle the tough tasks with the cooperation of other parties and the ruling military council.

Editor: An
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