Morsi sworn in as Egypt's president

Morsi sworn in as Egypt's president

Islamist Mohammed Morsi has been sworn in before Egypt’s highest court as the country’s first freely elected president, succeeding Hosni Mubarak who was ousted 16 months ago.

Mr Morsi, the Arab world’s first freely elected Islamist president, became Egypt’s fifth head of state since the overthrow of the monarchy some 60 years ago.

He took the oath today before the Supreme Constitutional Court in the Nile-side courthouse built to resemble an ancient Egyptian temple.

Mr Morsi has vowed to reclaim presidential powers stripped from his office by the military council that took over after Mubarak was overthrown.

But by agreeing to take the oath before the court, rather than before parliament as is customary, he bowed to the military’s will in an indication that the contest for power will continue.

"We aspire to a better tomorrow, a new Egypt and a second republic," Mr Morsi told the judges of the court after taking the oath in a solemn ceremony shown live on state television.

“Today, the Egyptian people laid the foundation of a new life – absolute freedom, a genuine democracy and stability.

Yesterday, the 60-year-old US-trained engineer took a symbolic oath of office in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, birthplace of the uprising that ended Mubarak’s authoritarian rule last year, and vowed to reclaim presidential powers stripped from his office by the military council that took over from the ousted leader.

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