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Mohamed Morsi became Egypt's first democratically elected president in June 2012, succeeding Hosni Mubarak. He served in that position until July 2013, when he was ousted by Egypt's armed forces.
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Born in Sharqiya on the Nile River delta, in Northern Egypt, on August 20, 1951, Mohamed Morsi became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1977. Morsi served as a Member of Parliament from 2000 to 2005, and was elected as president of Egypt in June 2012, succeeding former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. On July 3, 2013, Morsi was officially ousted as president by Egypt's armed forces.
"If we changed someone in office who [was elected] according to constitutional legitimacy—well, there will be people opposing the new president too, and a week or a month later they will ask him to step down."
"We will face together the strife and conspiracies that target our national unity."
"Without [Mohamed] Morsi's removal from office, we would have been headed toward a fascist state, or there would have been a civil war. It was a painful decision. It was outside the legal framework, but we had no other choice."
Born on August 20, 1951, in Sharqiya, located on the Nile River delta in Northern Egypt, Mohamed Morsi studied engineering at Cairo University, and received a master's degree in 1978. He then moved to the United States to study, and received a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Southern California in 1982.
Later that year, Morsi began working as an assistant professor at California State University, Northridge—a position he held until 1985. Two of his five children were born in California during this time, and are therefore U.S. citizens by birth. In 1985, Morsi returned to Egypt to head the engineering department at Zagazig University.
In 1977, Morsi became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood—a political, Islam-based organization that played a major role in the Egyptian nationalist movement. Morsi served as a Member of Parliament from 2000 to 2005, as an independent, since the Brotherhood was forbidden to nominate candidates for office, according to policies implemented by former President Hosni Mubarak. Morsi later served as a member of the Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau. In 2011, he founded the Freedom and Justice Party, for which he served as president.
Morsi was arrested several times under Hosni Mubarak's regime for various protests; he spent seven months behind bars in 2006, and was detained for a brief period in 2011, along with several other Brotherhood leaders.
On June 24, 2012, Mohamed Morsi made history when he was elected the new president-elect of Egypt. Morsi is the first democratically elected president in Egypt's history, and the first Islamist to lead an Arab country. Morsi came in slightly ahead of his opponent, former Prime Minister Ahmed Safik, receiving 51.73 percent of the vote. Fulfilling a campaign promise, Morsi resigned from his membership to the Muslim Brotherhood immediately after election results were announced.
Morsi is Egypt's fifth president, and the first leader from outside of the military. The election marks a pivotal point in Egypt's history, and follows a tumultuous transition to restore political powers and establish a new government after Mubarak's 30-year reign. In his victory speech, Morsi pledged to be "a president for all Egyptians," adding, "We will face together the strife and conspiracies that target our national unity."
Morsi acted swiftly once taking office. In August 2012, he fired some of the army's leading officers. Morsi moved toward grasping more power for himself as Egypt's president that November. He declared that his orders were beyond the scrutiny of the country's judges until Egypt had a new constitution.
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