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Local Expert: Newly Elected Egyptian President Will Have Little Immediate Impact

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Egypt’s Tahrir Square erupted in cheers on Sunday with the news that opposition candidate Mohammed Morsi was the winner of the country’s historic, democratic presidential election. But a local middle east expert says the election will have little immediate impact because of a power grab, last week, by the Egyptian Armed Forces.

Morsi was the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate and he had the support of other opposition groups, as well, because his opponent was a former Mubarak regime official.

However, Arcadia University professor Samer Abboud, says whatever hopes the opposition had for the election were undermined, last week, when the court dissolved parliament and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces — or SCAF– stripped the presidency of most power.

“The SCAF is the supreme authority here,” says Abboud. “The president is more or less subservient to the political will and authority of the SCAF,”

Abboud says, for that reason, relations between the U.S. and Egypt will remain largely unchanged, despite fears about Morsi’s intentions to create an Islamist Egypt.

“I think for the most part those fears and concerns are misguided,” he says.

Abboud points out most Gulf states are Islamist monarchies and the U.S. maintains friendly relations with them.

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