24th June, 2012
Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi, the first Islamist to be elected to the presidency, said on Sunday he will be a leader “for all Egyptians” and called for national unity after a polarising race.
“I will be a president for all Egyptians,” Morsi said just hours after he was declared president following a deeply divisive race against Ahmed Shafiq, the last premier to serve under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
“I call on you, great people of Egypt … to strengthen our national unity,” he said, adding that national unity “is the only way out of these difficult times.”
Morsi won 51.73 percent of the vote, with 13,230,131 ballots.
The election has polarised the nation, dividing those who feared a return to the old regime under Shafiq from others who wanted to keep religion out of politics and who fear the Brotherhood would stifle personal freedoms.
Morsi, who resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood to take the top job, thanked the “martyrs” of the uprising for the victory and stressed “the revolution continues.”
The 60-year-old engineer also vowed to honour international treaties.
“We will preserve all international treaties and charters … we come in peace,” Morsi said.
Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel.