Egypt’s president-elect addresses crowds in Tahrir Square

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Thousands of Islamists poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square to hear Egypt’s president-elect make his first public speech since declaring victory.

Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood is making a clear bid to rally popular support as he faces a struggle for power with the country’s ruling generals.

He is the first Islamist and the first civilian to win the presidency, a job held for nearly three decades by Hosni Mubarak who was ousted by an uprising last year.

But he is already facing a serious challenge after the Mubarak-era military rulers who oversee the transition took a series of decisions undermining the powers of his office before his swearing- in, which is scheduled for today.

His visit to Tahrir was also a nod to the protesters who supported his bid for leadership in a bitter campaign that pitted him against Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq. Many protesters have called for Mr Morsi to take the oath of office in the square, the epicentre of mass protests against Mubarak and later the continued military rule.