Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, will appoint a woman as one of his vice presidents and a Christian as another, his policy adviser told CNN.
“For the first time in Egyptian history — not just modern but in all Egyptian history — a woman will take that position,” Ahmed Deif told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday. “And it’s not just a vice president who will represent a certain agenda and sect, but a vice president who is powerful and empowered and will be taking care of critical advising within the presidential Cabinet.”
“The role of women in Egyptian society is clear,” Morsi told CNN weeks before the runoff election. “Women’s rights are equal to men. Women have complete rights, just like men. There shouldn’t be any kind of distinction between Egyptians except that … based on the constitution and the law.”
More on this story – Egypt’s new president to pick woman, Christian VPs
They sent customary congratulations from round the world – the Iranians and the Emiratis, the US, the British and Hamas.
Even Israel said it “respected the outcome”. William Hague, the foreign secretary, was almost effusive.
“I congratulate the Egyptian people for their commitment to the democratic process,” he said.
The US called on the government to be a “pillar of regional peace”.
It was as if the Muslim Brotherhood were just any other party, Mohammed Morsi just another politician, and Egypt any other democratic country.
It is not, of course. For one thing, nobody really knows now who is in power. Mr Morsi, just about everyone agrees, is not. He is answerable to two men: Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and defence minister; and Mohammed Badie, the Murshid or Guide of the Brotherhood, to whom he also owes obedience.
It is easy to see why the liberal activists who started last year’s revolution against Hosni Mubarak feel betrayed….