Mohamed Morsi is the first freely elected president of Egypt, according to his party, the Muslim Brotherhood. But the Islamist candidate, who beat out the man anointed by former dictator Hosni Mubarak in a runoff election Monday, may have few powers to exercise.

That’s because the military leaders who have presented themselves as caretakers of Egypt’s government since Mubarak’s ouster in February continue to demonstrate that they are the real authority on the Nile. Last week the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dissolved the democratically elected parliament. As the votes in the presidential race were counted Monday, SCAF took for itself much of the parliament’s power and let it be known that the new president would not have control of the military.

Former U.N. official Mohamed ElBaradei, who has been serving as the youth revolt’s elder statesman, called it a “grave setback for democracy and revolution.”

We will post an update from our correspondent in Cairo just as soon as the dust settles there.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer


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