SA congratulates Egypt’s new president

25 June 2012

South African President Jacob Zuma has joined the international community in welcoming the conclusion of Egypt’s presidential election process and congratulating Mohamed Morsi on his victory.

Morsi, a candidate of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood party, got 51.73 percent of all the votes in the run-off round, defeating his rival Ahmed Shafiq, who got 48.27 percent.

“We would like to take this opportunity to extend our congratulations to Mr Morsi and the people of Egypt for a successful election,” Zuma said in a statement.

He said South Africa looked forward to working with the elected representatives of the Egyptian people.

Offering to assist in Egypt’s reconciliation process, as well as the Constitution-building process, Zuma added that South Africa looked forward to Egypt taking its rightful place among the community of nations in Africa and globally.

Morsi has vowed to build a modern, democratic and civil state. Late on Sunday, he said he would respect all international agreements and form balanced relations with all international forces in his first televised speech to the nation after he was officially declared winner of the presidential polls.

Egypt held its historical presidential elections on 23-24 May after the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak last year. Morsi and Shafiq, who were the two front-runners in the first round, entered the run-off, which kicked off on 16 June.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday commended the Egyptian people for the peaceful atmosphere in which the elections were held and congratulated Morsi on his election.

Ban said he believed Morsi would spare no effort in “ensuring the people of Egypt realise their aspirations for greater democracy, the promotion of human rights, and a more prosperous and stable Egypt for all of its citizens.

“The imminent handover of power to the elected president marks the end of one important phase of Egypt’s on-going transition to greater democracy,” said Ban, adding that he expected Morsi to strive to build a cabinet encompassing all national forces and parties.

However, there were fears that the new government might be dominated by the Brotherhood.

Analysts believe that the coming period will witness a tug-of-war in the writing of a constitution and parliamentary re-elections, which are the biggest challenges for Morsi.

The political transition is far from being over in Egypt. The new president can only handle the tough tasks with the cooperation of other parties and the ruling military council.

Source: BuaNews-Xinhua