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Man jailed by Mubarak to succeed him as President

world Updated: Jun 25, 2012 01:51 IST
Reuters
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In a reversal of fortunes unthinkable a year and a half ago, an Islamist jailed by Hosni Mubarak has succeeded him as president of the most populous Arab nation in a victory at the ballot box which has historic consequences for Egypt and the Middle East.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi will not enjoy the extent of modern, pharaonic powers exercised by Mubarak: those have been curtailed by a military establishment which will decide just how much he will be able to do in government.

Still, the US-trained engineer's victory in the country's first free presidential election breaks a tradition of domination by men from the armed forces, which have provided every Egyptian leader since the overthrow of the monarchy 60 years ago, and installs in office a group that drew on 84 years of grassroots activism to catapult Morsi into the presidency.

He has promised a moderate, modern Islamist agenda to steer Egypt into a new democratic era where autocracy will be replaced by transparent government that respects human rights and revives the fortunes of a powerful Arab state long in decline. Morsi is promising an "Egyptian renaissance with an Islamic foundation".

Yet the stocky, bespectacled 60-year old, appears something of an accidental president: he was only flung into the race at the last moment by the disqualification on a technicality of Khairat al-Shater, by far the group's preferred choice.

Hamas praises Morsi win, Gaza celebrates
Palestinians in Gaza celebrated on Sunday, as Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was named winner of Egypt's presidential polls, with Hamas hailing a "historic moment." And the Palestinian Authority in charge of the West Bank issued its own congratulations to Morsi, who is set to become Egypt's first post-uprising president.

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