DHAKA: Mohamed Morsi has been sworn in before Egypt’s highest court as the country’s first freely elected president, succeeding Hosni Mubarak who was toppled 16 months ago.
Morsi became Egypt’s fifth head of state since the overthrow of the monarchy some 60 years ago.
He took the oath on Saturday before the Supreme Constitutional Court in their Nile-side courthouse built to resemble an ancient Egyptian temple, reports Al Jazeera.
Morsi has vowed to reclaim presidential powers stripped from his office by the military council that took over after Mubarak’s overthrow.
But by agreeing to take the oath before the court, rather than before parliament as is customary, he is bowing to the military’s will in an indication that the contest for power will continue.
‘Today is the birthday of the second republic’, said one of the judges in a preamble to the ceremony, which was broadcast live by state television.
Morsi had wanted the ceremony to take place in parliament, in keeping with the country’s interim constitution, but the ruling military dissolved the Islamist-dominated house earlier this month after a court order.
He pre-empted the court ceremony by swearing himself in at Tahrir Square and warning off generals trying to curb his powers.
Morsi praised Muslims and Christians alike in front of crowds that packed the birthplace of the revolt that overthrew his predecessor Hosni Mubarak last year.
In a rousing speech, he promised dignity and social justice and swore to uphold the constitution and ‘the republican system’, reciting the words of an oath which he will now formally take in front of the supreme constitutional court.
‘I will look after the interests of the people and protect the independence of the nation and the safety of its territory’, he said and promised to preserve a civil state.
BDST: 1730 HRS, JUN 30, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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