Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi declared president of Egypt
Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi will become the first Islamist head of state in the Arab world's most populous nation after defeating former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq.
Egypt's election commission announced the official results in a televised press conference, naming Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi as the first post-revolution president.
The commission chairman also spoke at length on Sunday about the various violations made by voters, including fake identity cards and ballot stuffing. In all cases, the votes were either recounted or disqualified.
In the end, Morsi received over 13 million or 51.7% of the votes, while his main rival, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, got 48.27 percent.
A huge crowd of Morsi's supporters, who were waiting for the announcement on Tahrir Square, erupted into cheers and chants as the result was read. Hundreds of thousands of people set off fireworks, waved flags and chanted 'Morsi!', jubilant after their candidate's victory.
Morsi is an American-educated engineer who received his Ph.D at the University of Southern California. He was an MP from 2000 till 2005, elected as an independent candidate because the Muslim Brotherhood was banned from running for parliament when Hosni Mubarak was in office. He remained with the Brotherhood until last year, when the Freedom and Justice Party was formed, and Morsi was named a presidential candidate.
But his victory, as many believe, is not a sign of a newly unified Egypt. Many Egyptians, not least the Christian minority, remain suspicious of Morsi and even more so of the group he represents.
And the election's outcome will not put an end to the power struggle between Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and the ruling military council. For instance, the delay in announcing the elecion winner have given rise to suspicions that the interim military government is using stalling tactics to cling to power.
Morsi promises a moderate, modern Islamist agenda to steer Egypt into a new democratic era where autocracy will be replaced by a government that respects human rights and revives the fortunes of a once-powerful Arab state. As the President-elect himself put it, an "Egyptian renaissance with an Islamic foundation".
But exactly how much power he will have to push his agenda through is unclear, as the military council has just last week made several constitutional amendments giving themselves control of the country's budget and legislative power.
The generals, who oversaw Mubarak's departure in February 2011, have repeatedly said that they will return to the barracks and hand power over to civilian rule. But they continue to present themselves as the true guardians of Egypt's security and long-term interests and moved to block the Islamists from taking more than a share of power.
And their moves in the past 10 days to curb the presidency and hang on to a veto over legislation, as well as to claim a role in drafting a new constitution, mean that the tug-of-war over power in Egypt goes on, no matter who won the most votes.