By Ahmed Aboul Enein and Rana Muhammad Taha
Tears of joy flowed down the faces of tens of thousands of Egyptians in Tahrir Square as they received news of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi’s victory in the country’s first post-Mubarak presidential elections. Sombre silence loomed over everyone’s face as Presidential Elections Committee head Judge Farouq Sultan read out the PEC report, listing in meticulous detail the steps of the electoral process.
A pickup truck plastered with Morsi posters with a microphone on top played a live audio broadcast of the PEC press conference with protesters clapping every time Sultan announced Morsi had won an appeal or his opponent had lost one. Once Sultan declared Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq had garnered 48 percent of the vote Tahrir Square erupted in fireworks and chants of “Allah Akbar”. “Thank you God for ridding us of the tyrants,” the protesters chanted. They then called on Morsi to avenge the January 25 revolution’s martyrs. “We will not abandon the martyrs, Morsi will avenge them God be willing.”
At Mohamed Morsi’s campaign headquarters a moment of silence was observed for the victims of the 2011 revolution before the campaign thanked the April 6 movement, the Social Revolutionaries movement, and the presidential campaigns of Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, Hamdeen Sabahy, Khaled Aly, Abdallah Al-Asha’l and Hazem Salah Abu Ismail for their support for Morsi during the run-off round of presidential elections.
They also thanked the entire Egyptian population, those who voted for Mohamed Morsi as well as those who didn’t. A statement posted on the official Muslim Brotherhood (MB) website Ikhwanweb.com reminded supporters that their work was only just beginning, “It’s time now for unity and hard work to face challenges ahead”. The statement assured that President Morsi is now going through talks with his presidential team in order to come up with a new cabinet which shall represent the “revolutionary Egypt”.
The cabinet of Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri is legally bound to resign after a new president is elected. Ikhwanweb’s twitter account messaged that protesters shall remain in Tahrir even after celebrating Morsi’s win, because the “battle for democracy and justice hasn’t ended”. The commitment to the road ahead was echoed in Tahrir square where victory chants soon changed into loud choruses of “down with military rule” with crowds voicing their anger at the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces. The protesters then joyfully shouted that the “revolution has succeeded.”
It was not all joy in the square, however. One elderly man in his sixties who identified himself as Khalid chastised the protesters for celebrating and called on everyone to stay in Tahrir. “Why are they celebrating, he [Morsi] is president but he has no powers,” said Khalid. “We will not leave until there is a transfer of full power to our elected president,” he added.