The US-educated Morsi will not have the opportunity to make some much needed changes in Egypt. The jury is still out whether the military will allow him to succeed or if the changes will bring actual change.
Sixteen months after the fall of his predecessor, the dictator Hosni Mubarak, official election results gave Morsi, a US-educated engineer, 51.7% of the vote against 48.3% for his rival, Ahmed Shafiq, a former prime minister under Mubarak. The turnout was reported to be 51.6%.
It is the first time that Egypt has been headed by an Islamist in the modern era, and the first time that a freely elected civilian has come to power in the country.
When the final announcement came – after a dense 45-minute preamble from the election chief, Farouk Sultan – it instantly rippled through Tahrir Square, setting off fireworks, flag-waving and chants of "God is greatest". "The revolution was victorious – this feeling cannot be described," said Mahmoud Abdallah. "If Shafiq had won, the past year would have been for nothing. Now we need to fight for the constitution and parliament. Political forces have united now against the anti-revolutionaries and we will win no matter how strong they are."