CAIRO – Egypt’s first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi has vowed to be a president for all Egyptians and honor the country’s international treaties as he inherited an office whose powers were curtailed by the ruling military council.
"I am today a president for all Egyptians," he said in his first televised speech on state television, after what he called "this historic moment, this luminous moment."
Morsi, 60, urged Egyptians "to strengthen our national unity" and promised an inclusive presidency.
The bearded Morsi, smiling occasionally, added that he would work with others to see the democratic revolution through.
Who Is Who in Egypt's Military Leadership
"There is no room now for the language of confrontation," he said.
He also paid tribute to protesters killed in last year's uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, saying without the "blood of the martyrs," he would not have made it to the presidency.
"The revolution goes on, carries on until all the objectives of the revolution are achieved and together we will complete this march," he said.
He repeated his respect for international treaties - a gesture to Israel, which has fretted about its 1979 peace deal, and to Egypt's army, whose big US subsidy depends on it.
Yet, he did not mention the last-minute power grab by the ruling military that stripped the president of most of his major powers.
Morsi was declared winner of last week’s presidential runoff after getting 13,230,131 votes while his rival former premier Ahmed Shafiq clinched 12,347,380 votes (48.3%).
Morsi could be sworn in on June 30, although questions remain over the extent of his authority.
Egyptian analysts predict talks between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military council to reach a compromise on the president’s powers.
"President Morsi and his team have been in talks with the military council to bring back the democratically elected parliament and other issues," Essam Haddad, a senior Brotherhood official, told Reuters on Monday.
The Islamists-led parliament was dissolved earlier this month by a court ruling over flaws in the election law.
Reports said that negotiations have been running over the past week to build a power-sharing compromise while the process of constructing a constitutional democracy goes on.
Brotherhood sources told Reuters they hoped the army might allow a partial recall of parliament and other concessions in return for Morsi exercising his powers to name a government and presidential administration.
Brotherhood officials also added that they have approached secular reformist politician Mohamed ElBaradei, a former UN diplomat and Nobel peace laureate, to take a senior post, possibly as prime minister. ElBaradei has not commented.
The army wants Morsi sworn in on June 30, meeting a deadline it set itself for handing over Egypt to civilian rule.
"Nobody should doubt there is going to be deal-making," said analyst Shadi Hamid, director of the Brookings Doha Center.
"The (SCAF) still has the tanks and guns and the Brotherhood still understands that. There has to be some temporary power-sharing agreement. There has to be give and take."
Despite winning elections, Morsi was aware that without cooperation from both the army, and the wider "deep state" of business and institutional vested interests, he risks accepting a poisoned chalice, enjoying the outward trappings of power but taking all the blame when life does not improve as fast as people hope.
A military council source described the presidential election as "a true example of democracy to the world".
He added that the ball was now in the court of the winning president to end Egypt’s problems.
"The onus now is on the new president to unite the nation and create a true coalition of political and revolutionary forces to rebuild the country economically and politically,”"The world is now watching the new president."
Related Links:Egypt Awaits Election Results
Tahrir Protesters Reject Army Rule, Threats
Vote Result Delay Unnerves Egyptians
Islamists Claim Egypt Presidency
Islamist Win Worries Israel, Relieves Gaza