Mohamed Morsy was declared Egypt’s first Islamist President on June 24 after the freest elections in the country’s history, narrowly defeating Hosni Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in a race that raised political tensions in Egypt to a fever pitch. The country’s last four Presidents over the past six decades have all came from the ranks of the military. This is the first time modern Egypt will be headed by an Islamist and by a freely elected civilian. Throngs of Mr. Morsy's supporters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted in cheers and dancing when the result was read out on live television. Some released doves with his pictures over the square where the uprising that ousted Mubarak last year was born. Others set off fireworks. Mr. Morsy’s spokesman Ahmed Abdel-Attie said words cannot describe the “joy” in this “historic moment.” “We got to this moment because of the blood of the martyrs of the revolution,” he said. “Egypt will start a new phase in its history.” The announcement was the culmination of a tumultuous, 16-month transition that was supposed to bring democratic rule, but was tightly controlled and curtailed by the military rulers who took power from Mr. Mubarak. The outcome will not put an end to the main power struggle in the country now between Mr. Morsy’s Muslim Brotherhood and the military. The election commission said Mr. Morsy won with 51.7 per cent of the vote versus 48.3 per cent for Mr. Shafiq. Turnout was 51 per cent. Farouk Sultan, the head of the commission, described the elections as “an important phase in the end of building our nascent democratic experience.” Since April 30, 2011 he has been Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), a political party that was founded by the Morsketeers after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. From 2000 to 2005, he was a Member of Parliament. He stood as the FJP's candidate for the May–June 2012 presidential election. He received a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in engineering from Cairo University in 1975 and 1978, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Southern California in 1982. He was an Assistant Professor at California State University, Northridge from 1982 to 1985. In 1985, he returned to Egypt to teach at Zagazig University. Two of his five children were born in California and are U.S. citizens.
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