Home inContext Egypt’s New President: Mohammed Morsi

Egypt’s New President: Mohammed Morsi

Kalen Taylor

Last Sunday, Mohammed Morsi was officially declared winner of Egypt’s presidential election, receiving a total of 51.7% of the vote. This victory, however, does not necessarily reflect the will of Egypt’s majority as only half of Egypt voted in the election.  As the Brotherhood candidate assumes the duties of the president, many are beginning to wonder just where Egypt’s revolution is heading and what Morsi intends to do with his new office.

To that end, Morsi himself stated that he will “respect all international treaties“.  Some have interpreted his remarks to include the peace treaty with Israel, but these assumptions were seemingly contradicted by Morsi’s reported interview with Iran’s national media, Fars News Agency.  In the interview, Morsi supposedly stated that he would “reconsider” the peace deal with Israel and develop closer ties to Iran.  The President Elect of Egypt denies that any interview took place.

Palestinians in Gaza celebrate presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi’s victoy. (Photo: AFP)

Meanwhile, Hamas celebrated the news of Morsi’s victory. One Hamas party member went so far as to say that under Morsi, Hamas “could get world recognition.”  Morsi’s victory opens the possibility of a stronger Gaza-Egypt relationship and Israel worries about stronger ties between the Islamist regimes in Cairo and Gaza City, but has generally maintained a wait-and-see approach.  Stating that they respect Egypt’s democratic process, Israeli officials appear resigned to work with Morsi’s new regime.

As Morsi begins to form a coalition in the deeply divided country, many still do not know what form this new government will take and what will be its ultimate goals.  Nor is it clear the degree of power the office of the president will wield and what role Egypt’s military will play. While only time will tell, when Morsi takes office he will be judged on more than his words.