CAIRO — Egypt’s military rulers on Sunday officially recognized Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood as the winner of Egypt’s first competitive presidential election, handing the Islamists both a symbolic triumph and a potent weapon in their struggle for power against the country’s senior generals.
Mr. Morsi, 60, an American-trained engineer and former lawmaker, is the first Islamist elected as head of an Arab state. But 16 months after the military took over at the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Mr. Morsi’s victory is an ambiguous milestone in Egypt’s promised transition to democracy.
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ExpatVoices: Spotted Egyptians in Kuwait driving around waving their country’s flag in celebrations. On Sunday June 24 2012, Mohammed Morsi was declared Egypt’s first Islamist president after the freest elections in the country’s history, narrowly defeating Hosni Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in a race that raised political tensions in Egypt to a fever pitch. Wising all Egyptian brethren the best wishes for their country’s rise to a newer democracy and freedom!
A YouTube Appeal to Egypt’s Diaspora From the Muslim Brother Who Would Be President
Readers who are curious about the Egyptian presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood but are hampered by their lack of Arabic can get a sense of the man by watching a video message he recorded in English, appealing for the support of the Egyptian diaspora.
The candidate, Mohammed Mursi, speaks English fluently. He lived in Los Angeles for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he earned a Ph.D. in materials engineering at the University of Southern California and taught for a few years at a smaller school nearby. His two children were born in the United States and hold U.S. citizenship.
The somewhat rambling video address — posted on YouTube on May 6, before the first round of the presidential election — adds weight to the idea that Mr. Morsi advanced to the second round on the strength of the Brotherhood’s popularity and organization, not his personal charisma or speaking ability. But it also accurately reflects the character of the Brotherhood’s campaign moving into the runoff against Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, which stresses the need for an economic recovery and the recovery of national pride.
As the Egyptian blogger Zeinobia noted earlier this month, it is not entirely clear why Mr. Morsi chose English for his appeal to the 586,803 Egyptians abroad who are registered to vote. Official statistics posted online by Egypt’s presidential election commission show that just 45,000 of those voters live in the U.S., Canada and Britain, while more than 475,000 are in four Arabic-speaking countries with more prosperous economies than Egypt: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.