Egypt’s first democratically elected leader Mohammed Morsi has begun the delicate task of building a government.
As supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate erupted with joy in Tahrir Square, the seat of the recent revolution, world leaders called on Morsi to advance national unity. Speaking to the nation he said:
“Today I will be the President of all Egyptians, of all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, today Egypt needs the people to be united. The revolution will continue until this aim will be achieved.”
Supporters of former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik reacted angrily to his defeat tearing down posters and weeping bitterly.
Shafik himself offered Morsi his congratulations and said he would serve as part of a unity government.
Many Morsi supporters were overwhelmed, including one who told reporters:
“I am very happy. It is a great day for Egypt. I just cannot find the words to express my joy.”
Our correspondent in Cairo, Riad Muasses, said:
“The victory of Mohamed Morsi in the presidential elections does not represent the end of the political crisis in Egypt, but it opens a new chapter of confrontation between the legislative power and a huge part of the executive power.”