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Egypt Swears in Interim President

July 04, 2013

by Sharon Behn

The chief justice of Egypt's supreme constitutional court has been named president, after the military ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi only a year into his term.

Constitutional court Chief Justice Adly Mansour was sworn in as the new interim president on Thursday, following days of street demonstrations against Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi.

“I swear by Almighty God to uphold the republican system and respect the law and Constitution, and to fully safeguard the rights of the people, and safeguard the independence and integrity of the homeland," Mansour promised.

Some Morsi supporters describe his ouster as a coup.

Analysts described the action as a clear rejection of Morsi's conservative religious leanings. The ousted leader was strongly supported by the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Lawyer Hassan Mahmoud Soliman was in Tahrir Square, the center of the uprising. “Look, Egypt has always been a moderate country," he noted. "We have never been a secular country or a religious one. We always wanted Egypt to be moderate. What has happened is for the good of all of Egypt. We are an ancient and moderate civilization, we have always been this way, and we will remain this way forever."

Army chief Abdul Fatah Khalil al-Sisi on Wednesday laid out a roadmap for the country, including a panel to review Egypt's now-suspended constitution, a national reconciliation committee, and elections for a new president and parliament.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which had vowed to defend Morsi to the death, has been quiet. Many of its leaders have been banned from leaving the country and a top leader has been arrested.

The former president is being held at a military compound.

Australian National University Egyptian scholar Adel Abdel Ghafar, who is currently in Cairo, said he does not expect a violent backlash.

“I think the majority of Egyptians from low-income to middle-income earners are really focused on putting food on the table and getting back to work," Ghafar said."The country has been on hold for a few days and the economy is already suffering. I think the majority of the people are really keen on getting back to work and getting some stability.”

In Cairo's Tahrir Square, crowds were still waving flags and celebrating president Morsi's ouster, whistling and cheering as Egypt's air force flew overhead forming a giant white heart in the sky.


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