Egypt’s new president to take oath before court

Egypt’s Islamist President-elect Mohamed Mursi will give a speech to crowds in Tahrir Square on Friday but his party appears to have lost in a power struggle with the ruling military council over where he will take his oath of office.

Details about the historic swearing-in ceremony were announced in a late statement from the presidency on Thursday which stated that Mursi will take the oath of office in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court on Saturday at 11 a.m. Cairo time (0900 GMT).

After being sworn-in as the first freely elected civilian president of the biggest Arab state, Mursi will attend a celebration in Cairo University where he will give a speech, according to the presidency statement.

The Muslim Brotherhood had wanted Mursi sworn-in before parliament, in line with past practice, but an army-backed court dissolved the Islamist-dominated lower house earlier this month.

The generals said the same court should hear Mursi take his oath of office.

Mursi held talks about the oath-taking on Thursday with the Muslim Brotherhood’s general guide Mohamed Badie and prominent public and legal figures and politicians at the presidential palace.

Following the meetings, a presidential spokesman issued a statement that mentioned only Mursi’s plans to address the nation on Friday from Tahrir Square where hundreds of protesters have been camped out for weeks to press the military council to swiftly transfer all powers to civilian rulers.

Later, a senior judge in the Supreme Constitutional Court told the state news agency MENA that Mursi would take the oath in front of a panel of Judges from the Supreme Constitutional Court on Saturday.

REUTERS

Egypt shares soar after Mursi named president

Egyptian shares surged more than 7 percent on Monday for their biggest daily gain in nine years after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi was named as the first freely elected president, boosting hopes for a violence-free transition from army rule.

The benchmark index closed up 7.6 percent, its best one-day performance since early 2003 and the fourth-biggest in the index’s 14-year history, after Mursi’s win was announced on Sunday. The news sparked jubilation among Brotherhood supporters.

Traders, however, were cautious, saying the market euphoria could quickly evaporate if the new president cannot form a government with broad political support.

“I wouldn’t judge the market on one day. Let’s wait for the rest of the week. One more speech and the market could drop,” said Osama Mourad, CEO of Arab Finance Brokerage.

The stock market fell 10 percent during the two-stage election on fears the poll could be derailed or marred by violence. But voting, and the announcement of Mursi’s win against Ahmed Shafik, ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, passed off peacefully.

“The market is celebrating the lack of violence around this result,” said Mourad. “The market was afraid of clashes on the streets.”

Yields on short-dated treasury bills offered in Egypt’s small secondary fixed-income market fell by 5-10 basis points, a currency trader said.

Egyptian credit default swaps were at 705 basis points, down from 722 on Friday, a 3-1/2 year high, according to Markit.

REUTERS