Thousands gather to hear new Egyptian president


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The Independent Online

Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square yesterday to hear the president-elect speak on the eve of his inauguration as Egypt's first Islamist, civilian president.

"I swear to God, I will protect the republican system, I will protect the constitution," Mohamed Morsi told the gathered crowds.

"We will continue on the path to a civil state, a constitutional state" he added, in what was viewed as a symbolic oath of office.

The speech was given as concerns grew about whether the nation's military rulers have handed Mohamed Morsi a poisoned chalice. He appears to have had his hands tied by a series of decrees and judicial decisions. Following the controversial dissolution of parliament, the military council declared that it alone had the power to legislate. That will change once a fresh batch of MPs are elected – though nobody knows exactly how or when this will happen.