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Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi Sworn In

Common Dreams staff

Egypt's first civilian and democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was officially sworn in Saturday. Morsi is the first Islamist head of state in Egypt, Agence France-Presse reports.

"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 in the Constitutional Court.

In a speech on Friday Morsi told a crowd of tens of thousands of supporters in Tahrir Square that he will promote a "civilian state" in an address to "the free world, Arabs, Muslims... the Muslims of Egypt, Christians of Egypt."

Morsi defeated Mubarak-era premier Ahmed Shafiq at the polls on June 17, 2012; however many Egyptians supported a total boycott of the election, arguing that the run-off represented a 'Hobson's choice between the 'Islamism Morsi' and a 'retrenchment of the old regime' by candidate Shafiq.

Morsi faces further challenges including a power struggle with the Egyptian military, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who granted itself sweeping powers before Morsi's election. Morsi had wanted today's ceremony to take place in parliament, as required in the interim Egyptian constitution, but the ruling military dissolved the Islamist-dominated house earlier this month after a court order.

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