Morsi sworn in as Egyptian president
Updated: 2012-07-01 09:18
CAIRO - Egyptian President-elect Mohamed Morsi on Saturday took his oath before the General Assembly of the Supreme Constitutional Court as the first president after the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak.
"I swear by almighty God that I will sincerely protect the republican order and that I fully respect the constitution and the rule of the law and completely take care of people's interests, preserve the nation's independency and safety of its lands," Morsi said at the ceremony.
He promised to lead "a modern, constitutional, national and civil country."
"Egyptians today have established their new life with freedom," he said, adding that "Egypt has institutions with loyal people who know the meaning of respecting the constitution and the laws."
Egypt's first Islamist president Mohamed Morsi attends his swearing in ceremony in this still image from a video footage in Cairo, June 30, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
Traditionally the Egyptian president takes the oath in the parliament, but Morsi was sworn in at the Supreme Constitutional Court as the parliament's islamist-dominated lower house has been dissolved by the court.
By agreeing to be sworn in at the Supreme Constitutional Court, "Morsi expressed his full respect for the public opinion," said Safwat el-Alem, professor of Cairo Mass Communications faculty.
Morsi also took a symbolic oath Friday evening before the crowds in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of last year's turmoil, to prove that he has a close relation to the ordinary people. His speech was spontaneous and expressed the mutual interaction, Alem added.
His oath before the Supreme Constitutional Court was a good step to contain an expected crisis and implement the normal procedures and protocols in this regard, he said.
After the swear-in, the president then delivered a speech at Cairo University. In a three-floor auditorium, head of the supreme military council Hussein Tantawi, caretaker Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa were seated in the front row.
Morsi said the constitution will express the national reconciliation, based on right, justice and law. He stressed that "I'll govern out of being a servant for the nation hired by the people."
He promised to support the common Arab work. "Egypt respects all the conventions and agreements," said Morsi, stressing his support to the Palestinian cause.
Morsi praised the role of the armed forces who fulfilled their promise not to be a substitute for the people's legitimacy. He extended thanks to the military institution for implementing their role.
"Now the great Egyptian army will go back to their mission which is protecting the nation's borders and preserving the armed forces strong in light of law and constitution," he added.
He noted that maintaining safety and national security of the country is related to the ability to preserve the armed forces. " The armed forces is the armor and sword of our nation."
"We are in bad need of eliminating all the chaos in all fields, economy in particular, to make comprehensive social justice for all," he said, asking all to cooperate to encourage investments in all sectors and especially regain the role of tourism.
The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been ruling Egypt since the step-down of Mubarak, held a ceremony Saturday afternoon in Hikestep military base in east Cairo to officially hand power to Morsi.
At the beginning of the ceremony, the SCAF staged a parade started with helicopters carrying the national flag and flags of the armed forces and flying across the base. The artillery fired a 21-gun salute, and chairman of the SCAF Tantawi presented the " armed forces armor" to the president.
Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi (C) speaks during his swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, June 30, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
In a speech at the ceremony, Tantawi said that "we (the army) fulfilled our promises to secure Egypt internally and internationally, in addition to make the democratic elections a successful one."
In his speech after the hand-over, Morsi said that "on this unique day, the power of the country has been handed over from the armed forces according to the people's will to an elected civilian president."
"With all appreciation, I accept this responsibility to be responsible for the armed forces, likewise any part of Egypt," said Morsi, adding that all kinds of support will be provided for this respectable institution and a special ceremony will be hold to honor the armed forces.
He repeated many times that "all Egyptians are one weft," in reference to all Muslims and Copts.
"Our experience will be an ideal to be learned by other countries," Morsi asserted.
In his Friday speech in Tahrir Square, Morsi said the people is the source of power and legitimacy, and told tens of thousands of supporters that no one and no institutions are above the will of the people.
Morsi has resigned from his post in the Muslim Brotherhood after the elections results were announced, to prove his promises to be a president for all Egyptians.
Morsi defeated his rival, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, in the presidential run-off held on June 16 and June 17.