News24

Egypt's clerics elect top Islamic jurist

2013-02-11 21:32

Cairo - Muslim clerics from Al-Azhar, Egypt's premier religious institution, have chosen the country's top Islamic jurist via direct and secret balloting - the first such vote in six decades.

An official statement by the Senior Scholars Authority says Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim, a professor in Islamic jurisprudence, was elected Grand Mufti in a Monday vote.

The results are now expected to pass ratification by President Mohammed Morsi.

Previously, the Grand Mufti was appointed by the president.

But after the ouster of long-time president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's interim military rulers amended Al-Azhar's bylaws.

Abdel-Karim will be the country's 19th Grand Mufti since 1895.

He succeeds the moderate Ali Gomaa, who served for eight years.