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Muslim Brotherhood Elected in Egypt, Calls for National Unity

Screen shot 2012-06-25 at 12.53.56 AM
Screen shot 2012-06-25 at 12.53.56 AM

From the BBC:

The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Mursi has called for national unity following his victory in Egypt's presidential elections. Mr Mursi, an Islamist and Egypt's first democratically elected leader, said he would be president for all Egyptians. He won 51.73% of the vote in last-week's run-off, beating former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. World leaders have congratulated Mr Mursi. The White House urged Egypt to be "a pillar of regional peace".

Days of tension led up to the declaration of the result after Egypt's ruling military council gave itself sweeping powers.

When the winner was announced, tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters holding a vigil in Cairo's Tahrir Square erupted in jubilation.

"Down with military rule" they chanted amid wild cheering and explosions of fireworks.

Celebrations continued long into the night, with many of Mr Mursi's supporters still in Tahrir Square on Monday morning. In a televised address, Mr Mursi paid tribute to the protesters killed in last year's uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak. He said without the "blood of the martyrs" he would not have been elected. "The revolution goes on, carries on until all the objectives of the revolution are achieved and together we will complete this march. The people have been patient long enough," he said.

"I call on you, great people of Egypt... to strengthen our national unity. Today I am a president for all Egyptians, wherever they may be."

Mr Mursi also praised the role of the country's powerful armed forces.

After the result, Mr Mursi resigned from his positions within the Muslim Brotherhood - including his role as chairman of its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) - as he had pledged to do in the event of his victory. Mr Mursi has promised that his leadership will be inclusive, and has courted secular and Christian voters. Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, was among the first to congratulate Mr Mursi.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague also congratulated Mr Mursi, saying the election marked "an historic moment for Egypt".

The White House called the election "a milestone for Egypt's transition to democracy".

"We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfil Egypt's role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability," spokesman Jay Carney said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped the long-standing peace treaty between the two countries would continue.

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