After much civil unrest and a popular uprising, a new leader has emerged to succeed Hosni Mubarak.
Mohammed Morsi took the oath of office Saturday to become the country’s first freely elected president, the Boston Globe reports.
Morsi promised to build an improved Egypt, one that will repair the cracks left behind by the corrupted military autocracy.
”We aspire to a better tomorrow, a new Egypt and a second republic,” Morsi said before the black-robed judges in the court’s Nile-side headquarters built to resemble an ancient Egyptian temple. ”Today, the Egyptian people laid the foundation of a new life – absolute freedom, a genuine democracy and stability.”
Morsi repeated his oath of office and inauguration speech at the Cairo University in front of thousands.
”I pledge before God that I will safeguard that institution, soldiers and commanders, raise its prestige and support it with all the powers available to me so it can be stronger.”
Morsi was quick to draw fire on the Central Security paramilitary forces, an organization that seized executive powers and disbanded the Islamist-controlled parliament in the days before the election results were released.
”The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has honored its promise not to be a substitute for the popular will and the elected institutions will now return to carry out their duties as the glorious Egyptian army returns to being devoted to its mission of defending the nation’s borders and security,” he said.
In a speech he delivered to the public in Tahrir Square on Friday, he again solidified his position as president by reassuring the nation’s denizens the CSP would not assume any additional powers.
“Everybody is hearing me now. The government … the military and the police. … No power above this power,” he told the tens of thousands of mostly Islamist supporters packing the square. “I reaffirm to you I will not give up any of the president’s authorities. I can’t afford to do this. I don’t have that right.”
Although his electoral victory was a historic turning point for many Egyptians, some were apprehensive about the new power shift.
In a move that would likely complicate relations with the United States, he vowed to release Omar Abdel-Rahman, a spiritual leader who was convicted and jailed in the U.S for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
U.S. elected officials are worried that this leader may have a lack of respect for America and its laws.
“This statement about freeing Omar Abdel-Rahman is not only outrageous, it is cause for deep concern about Mohammed Morsi’s respect for the rule of law and democracy,” New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said to New York Daily News. “Any attempt to free this convicted terrorist must be met with swift condemnation.”