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Egypt: Scenes of celebration, defiance in Cairo

CAIRO (AP) – The tens of thousands of Egyptians who packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square this time did so not to protest, but to celebrate the country’s first Islamist and civilian president-elect.

Mohammed Morsi, who won this month’s runoff in Egypt’s first free presidential election, came to the epicenter of the nation’s uprising to speak to his supporters and stake his claim to power in the country.

Addressing the packed square, Morsi struck a defiant tone, vowing to fight for his authority in the face of the country’s ruling generals.

He spoke in a booming voice. He raised his hands to the swarming crowd. He stepped out boldly in front of the podium and opened his jacket to show he wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest, to show that he fears “no one but God.”

The throngs of cheering supporters in the square raised their arms in triumph. They waved from balconies. They climbed palm trees to catch a glimpse of the man they had elected to lead the country.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)