Egypt's new president sworn in

Sat, Jun 30, 2012, 01:00

Islamist Mohammed Morsi has been sworn in before Egypt’s highest court as the country’s first freely elected president, succeeding Hosni Mubarak who was ousted 16 months ago.

Mr Morsi, the Arab world’s first freely elected Islamist president, became Egypt’s fifth head of state since the overthrow of the monarchy some 60 years ago.

He took the oath today before the Supreme Constitutional Court in the Nile-side courthouse built to resemble an ancient Egyptian temple.

Mr Morsi has vowed to reclaim presidential powers stripped from his office by the military council that took over after Mubarak was overthrown.

But by agreeing to take the oath before the court, rather than before parliament as is customary, he bowed to the military’s will in an indication that the contest for power will continue.

Mr Morsi is the first president since the king was toppled by army officers in 1952 who was not drawn from top military ranks.

For the 84-year-old Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled Mr Morsi to office, it marks a dramatic reversal of fortunes after decades of repression.

"Today, the birth of a civilian state," wrote the daily Al-Gomhuria, a newspaper which until the uprising last year had been fiercely loyal to Mubarak.