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MIDEAST > Thousands flock to Tahrir for Morsi

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Mohamed Morsi (R) performs Friday noon prayers at Al-Azhar mosque. EPA photo

Mohamed Morsi (R) performs Friday noon prayers at Al-Azhar mosque. EPA photo

Muslim Brotherhood supporters flocked to Cairo’s Tahrir Square on June 29 to hear Mohamed Morsi speak on the eve of his inauguration as Egypt’s first civilian president.

Crowds in Tahrir, the hub of last year’s revolt against ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, chanted “Morsi is president of the republic” and waved Egyptian flags with his picture inset. “A full revolution or nothing. Down, down with military rule,” they shouted. “We, the people, are the red line.”

Morsi, who attended weekly Muslim prayers at al-Azhar mosque, was expected to address the nation from Tahrir when Hürriyet Daily News went to press. Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali told state MENA news agency the president-elect would “make a speech to the great Egyptian people” in which he would speak about “efforts to launch his program for the rebirth of Egypt.” He is expected to swear his oath of office at 11 a.m. on June 30 before the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo. The usual venue is Parliament, but the same court dissolved the Islamist-led lower house this month. 

Even after taking the oath, Morsi will still have to contend with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by Mubarak’s longtime Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, which will retain broad powers after it formally transfers power.

Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.

June/30/2012

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