Mohamed Morsi took the oath of office on June 30 to become Egypt’s first Islamist president and its first elected head of state since Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow last year. The ceremony took place in the constitutional court rather than parliament, the result of an ongoing tussle with the military that took charge after Mubarak’s overthrow and insists on retaining broad powers now.
“I swear by the Almighty God to sincerely preserve the republican order and to respect the constitution and law, and completely care for the people’s interest,” he said at the ceremony at the court. Morsi had wanted to take the oath before parliament, but the military has disbanded the Islamist-dominated house following a court order.
In an address at Cairo University following his swearing-in, Morsi thanked the military for seeing through the presidential elections but pointedly mentioned the “elected parliament” several times. “The elected institutions will return to fulfilling their roles. And the great military will devote itself to the task of protecting the country,” he told his audience, which included the military’s leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. He then set out some of his international and domestic objectives, saying he would be a “servant of the people” in a “democratic, modern and constitutional state.”
Internationally, he said Egypt respected would back the Palestinians and called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria. “I announce from here that Egypt, its people and presidential institution stand with the Palestinian people until they regain all their rights,” he said. “We support the Syrian people. We want the bloodshed to stop,” he added.