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Egypt President-Elect Addresses Tahrir Square Crowd

by Carla Babb June 29, 2012

Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi says he cherishes the "great honor" given to him by the Egyptian people.

Morsi spoke to tens of thousands of his supporters who had filled Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest the country's military. He saluted Egyptians across the country and abroad, telling them that the blood of revolutionaries who were killed and wounded in the uprising has "watered the tree of freedom."

Morsi will be sworn in Saturday. He ran for president as a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood before resigning from the group after being declared president-elect. He echoed his desire to form an inclusive government Friday - reaching out to Muslims, Christians and women.

He voiced support for, in his words, a "real democracy" - saying no right could be taken from anyone who supported him or his opponents.

Morsi is to appear before Egypt's Constitutional Court to take his oath of office, apparently conceding to the wishes of the ruling military council on details of the transfer of power.

Morsi had vowed to assume the presidency in front of parliament. However, the military council said Morsi would take the oath in front of the court because of the recent dissolution of the lower house of parliament, which was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some observers have said the disagreement could be the first phase of a prolonged power struggle between the Brotherhood and the military.

The ruling generals have said they will transfer power to the president by July 1. However, many Egyptians erupted in anger and frustration when military leaders gave themselves sweeping powers that undercut the president's authority just days before Morsi was declared the presidential election winner.

The Brotherhood has rejected the military's actions.

Earlier this week, Morsi moved into the offices of the presidential palace, formerly occupied by ousted president Hosni Mubarak until a popular uprising toppled him last year.

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