Egypt’s president-elect Mohamed Morsi began efforts to mend his country’s fragile political system Monday, working toward fashioning a cabinet despite having much of his power liquidated by the Egyptian military council last week.
After being declared Egypt’s first freely elected president Sunday, Morsi moved into his new home, the presidential palace of former embattled leader Hosni Mubarak, with the breadth of his power still very much in doubt, according to the BBC.
Despite the swirling uncertainty, Morsi’s message has been straightforward: “His priority is stability on the political scene,” Yasser Ali, a spokesman for Morsi, told the Associated Press.
His insistence on national solidarity was further exemplified in his Sunday night speech: “I will serve all Egypt. There will be no distinction between anybody,” Morsi said. “National unity is the only way to get Egypt out of this difficult time.”
Morsi’s weekend victory was seen as a watershed moment for Egypt’s Islamists – according to the The Washington Post’s Ernesto Londoño and Karin Brulliard – who have endured repression and even torture during the decades of autocratic rulers. But the euphoria surrounding the president-elect could fizzle out quickly if he is unable to restore his nation back to order.
In addition to lingering questions of power, Morsi is faced with the task of resuscitating Egypt’s economy, crippled by roughly a year and half of political upheaval and often-violent demonstrations. It’s likely that many Egyptians will judge his performance based on how quickly the country’s economy recovers, Reuters reported. That concern was partially alleviated Monday as Egypt’s benchmark stock index closed up 7.6 percent, the largest gain in roughly nine years.
As for the jubilant crowds in Tahrir Square - who turned out in large numbers to celebrate Morsi’s victory - they remained present for much of early Monday, according to Al-Jazeera.
More video from Tahrir Square by Al-Jazeera’s Evan Hill at the moment of Morsi’s official victory.
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