|Morsi sworn in as Egypt's president||
At his inauguration before the Supreme Constitutional Court, Morsi also became the Arab world's first freely elected Islamist president and Egypt's fifth head of state since the overthrow of the monarchy some 60 years ago, The Associated Press reported.
He took the oath before the court's 18 black-robed judges in its Nile-side seat built to resemble an ancient Egyptian temple.
"We aspire to a better tomorrow, a new Egypt and a second republic," Morsi said during a solemn ceremony shown live on state television.
"Today, the Egyptian people laid the foundation of a new life — absolute freedom, a genuine democracy and stability," said Morsi, a 60-year-old U.S.-trained engineer from the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic movement that has spent most of the 84 years since its inception as an outlawed organization harshly targeted by successive regimes.
Hundreds of soldiers and policemen guarded the building as Morsi arrived shortly after 11 a.m. local time (9 a.m. GMT) in a small motorcade. Only several hundred supporters gathered outside the court to cheer the new president and, in a departure from the presidential pomp of the Mubarak years, traffic was only briefly halted to allow his motorcade through on the usually busy road linking the city center with its southern suburbs.
Morsi has vowed to reclaim presidential powers stripped from his office by the military council that took over after Mubarak's overthrow.
But by agreeing to take the oath before the court, rather than before parliament as is customary, he is bowing to the military's will in an indication that the contest for power will continue.
"Today is the birthday of the second republic," said one of the judges in a preamble to the ceremony, which was broadcast live by state television.
Morsi had wanted the ceremony to take place in parliament, in keeping with the country's interim constitution, but the ruling military dissolved the Islamist-dominated house earlier this month after a court order.
He pre-empted the court ceremony by swearing himself in at Tahrir Square and warning off generals trying to curb his powers.
Morsi praised Muslims and Christians alike in front of crowds that packed the birthplace of the revolt that overthrew his predecessor Hosni Mubarak last year.
In a rousing speech, he promised dignity and social justice and swore to uphold the constitution and "the republican system", reciting the words of an oath which he will now formally take in front of the supreme constitutional court.
"I will look after the interests of the people and protect the independence of the nation and the safety of its territory," he said and promised to preserve a civil state.
Morsi, who resigned as chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, promised to end torture and discrimination. He also issued several challenges to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Egypt's military rulers.
He insisted that "no institution will be above the people," critiquing an army which has sought to shield itself from parliamentary oversight. "You are the source of authority," he told the crowd.
Morsi also vowed to work for the release of civilians arrested by the army since the revolution; more than 12,000 people have been tried by military tribunals since February 2011, according to local human rights groups.
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