JERUSALEM, Israel -- Egypt's chief justice was sworn in as interim president in front of the General Assembly of the Court Thursday, one day after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power.
"I look forward to parliamentary and presidential elections held with the genuine and authentic will of the people," Chief Justice Adli Mansour said.
"The youth had the initiative and the noblest thing about this glorious event is that it was an expression of the nation's conscience and an embodiment of its hopes and ambitions," he contiued. "It was never a movement seeking to realize special demands or personal interests."
The announcement threw the throngs in Cairo's Tahrir Square into a frenzy.
"I couldn't stand it," anti-Morsi protestor Sara Medhat said. "I was extremely happy and this is my whole family. I left my father at home so I could go to the streets and celebrate."
The anti-Morsi protestors see the army as their protector and as Egypt's guarantor of stability.
"The military are the best people to rule this country at this time," Asmaa Kamal, another protestor, said. "They've proven they are the best, they have no political intentions, and they don't belong to any party, so this is better. We are feeling comfortable."
The army put Morsi under house arrest and detained a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders. It's uncertain how the millions of Egyptians who supported Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood will react.
Brotherhood leaders are calling the army's action a military coup and more.
"This is an upheaval of legitimacy and the constitution. This is a military coup and will result in bringing the army back to the political sphere," Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed el-Beltagy said.
El-Sissi made his statement alongside the top Muslim, Christian, and opposition leaders, all of whom hope it's a new beginning for Egypt.
"I hope this plan is the beginning of a new launch for the January 25 revolution [referring to 2011 revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak] when people offered their dearest to restore their freedom, dignity, and social justice for every Egyptian. May God support us," said Mohammed ElBaradei, National Salvation Front opposition leader.
The U.S. State Department took a neutral position on the developments.
"Again, we are not taking sides in this," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "This is for the Egyptian people and all sides to work through together, and we are hopeful they can come to a political resolution."
Many, though, fear that both sides could choose violent confrontations instead of a political solution.
Egypt is entering an extremely fragile period in its history. How it weathers the crisis will have profound ramifications for the nation, the region, and the world.