- (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)
Egypt's newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, is vowing to elect a Christian and a woman as two vice presidents in an attempt to unify his government and people amid a period of uncertain turmoil.
Critics are questioning if this vow by Morsi will come to fruition, or if it is an empty promise meant to temporarily placate concerns that he is a traditionally orthodox Muslim with only Muslim needs in mind.
Morsi made the claim this past Monday when his representatives told various international media outlets of his plan to unify Egyptians of different backgrounds under his one government.
"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," Ahmed Deif, Morsi's topic advisor, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
In addition, Deif promised to elect a Christian to the vice presidential platform as well, telling CNN Monday that Egypt "definitely" will not be an "Islamic Republic."
Additionally, Morsi told CNN a few weeks before the election: "The role of women in Egyptian society is clear," although, as CNN points out, he was initially for banning women from the presidential race.
"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," he added.
Critics have been concerned that Morsi, who is himself a practicing Muslim, will lead a regime similar to that of the interim military council, whose predominate conservative Muslim influence caused Christians to flee the countries in by the thousands.
Although it is still undetermined whether Morsi will actually fulfill these promises, the president has said he will begin making appointments once the members of his cabinet have been selected, once again showing that he does not plan to rule the country in a dictator-like fashion.
Egypt has been in a state of upheaval since the Arab Spring uprisings of winter 2011, and Morsi's election to the presidency only calms the storm slightly.
Morsi's government still needs to regain power from the military interim council, which passed sweeping amendments shortly before his victory, in an effort to safeguarded its power over the country.