Egypt has been launched on a path unthinkable to all. Once a political prisoner under Hosni Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, has replaced him as the new president.
His victory has given the Islamists both a symbolic triumph and a potent weapon in their struggle for power against country’s top generals.
Morsi, 60, won 51.73 per cent of the vote, beating his rival and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. He is the first Islamist who has been named as the Head of an Arab state.
He becomes the fifth president of Egypt and first from outside the military.
Morsi has vowed to uphold the goals of the revolution that ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year and to share power with other parties.
Morsi saluted the judiciary and the army for overseeing the democratic process.
"Respectful salutation to Egypt\\\’s honourable and just judiciary and to the brave men of the army and police who protected the democratic process with all honour. Congratulations to Egypt," he said.
"I pledge to be a president who serves his people and works for them," Morsi said, adding, "I will not betray God in defending your rights and the rights of this nation."
Morsi\\\’s win in Egypt\\\’s first-ever genuine multi-candidate presidential elections puts an end to a 60-year military monopoly of the position.
His predecessors Mohamed Naguib, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Anwar El-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country since the 1952 Free Officers\\\’ Coup, all came from the army\\\’s ranks.
Morsi was born in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya and graduated with an engineering degree from Cairo University in 1975. He received a PhD from the University of Southern California, where he was an assistant professor, in 1982.
He was a member of an anti-Israel group, the Committee to Resist Zionism, but dedicated much of his time to the Muslim Brotherhood, which first fielded him in a parliamentary election in 2000.
The military and the Brotherhood have been in a public conflict in recent days. The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has criticised the Mursi campaign for announcing his victory too early, while the Brotherhood have warned against fraud.
A series of controversial decrees by the ruling SCAF have angered the Islamists who say they are designed to reduce or constrain the power of the president, and entrench the power of the military.
Earlier, Tantawi had announced the re-establishment of a National Defence Council, putting the generals in charge of Egypt\\\’s national security policy.
Egypt\\\’s 2012 presidential elections were the second in the country\\\’s history.
The first Egyptian presidential polls took place in 2005 and saw then president Mubarak secure a clear victory, which many observers chalked up to massive vote-rigging by the now defunct National Democratic Party (NDP).
Mubarak, 84, remained in power for 30 years until the military forced his resignation after 18 days of countrywide protests.