(The Washington Post/The Washington Post) – Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi
Jason Motlagh 4:00 AM ET
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“We demand from the president of the republic that he calls off the constitutional declaration, reinstate the parliament as it was, and to stand here among us to be sworn in and swear he has all his powers,” said a preacher in the square who addressed the crowd before Morsi arrived.
“From now on, we make our demands to the president of the republic, not the military council. The military council no longer rules Egypt.”
Ali said Morsi’s agreement to take oath before the court does not mean the battle to regain his powers is over.
“This is an affirmation that (Morsi) respects the law and constitution,” he said. “It doesn’t mean approval of the declaration.”
Speaking to newspapers editors Thursday, Morsi said there are still discussions on how to on how to implement the law dissolving the parliament. The court decision declared a third of the elected seats unconstitutional and Brotherhood lawyers argue it is still possible to only dissolve that third. Morsi urged patience.
Morsi, the first elected Islamist leader of an Arab country, is also trying to reach out to many of the liberal and secular forces that were behind the uprising. They, along with Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority, fear Morsi would work to establish a religious state. Most of those groups have stayed out of the protest in Tahrir.
However, the prominent April 6 youth movement took part in the square protest.
“We should be patient with one another, two, three or four years, and try to live together in this atmosphere of freedom and democracy after the revolution,” he told the editors, according to comments published in the state-run Al-Ahram daily. “This is definitely a better atmosphere than before. But there are big challenges.”
Before heading to Tahrir, Morsi prayed in Al-Azhar mosque. Al-Azhar is the Sunni world’s most prestigious learning institution, and represents moderate Islam. Morsi’s visit there is an acknowledgement of respect to the institution.
Protesters in the square chanted, “The military council should leave tonight,” and, “The president takes the oath in the square.”
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