Islamists Claim Egypt Presidency

OnIslam & News Agencies

Brotherhood candidate victory.jpg1
The Brotherhood declared that Morsi won the elections to become Egypt's new president
Egypt, Brotherhood, Islamist, victory

CAIRO – The Muslim Brotherhood declared Monday, July 18, that its candidate Mohamed Morsi defeated his rival former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq in a runoff election to become Egypt’s new president.

"Mohamed Morsi is the first popularly elected president of Egypt," the official website of Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party announced in a brief message cited by Reuters.

Morsi’s campaign said that the Brotherhood’s candidate won 52 percent of votes based on a count from 95 percent of polling stations.

Mohamed Morsi (Profile)

Shafiq, the last premier of deposed president Hosni Mubarak, won 48 percent of votes.

Morsi in his first comments since the victory announcement promised at a news conference to be president for all Egyptians and said he would not "seek revenge or settle scores."

"Thanks be to God who has guided Egypt's people to the path of freedom and democracy, uniting the Egyptians to a better future," Morsi said.

Shafiq’s campaign has denied the claims of victory by his rival.

"I do not accept this, I will not file wrong numbers," Ahmed Sarhan from the campaign said.

But another campaigner said: "I don't think we will make it." One woman campaigner at Shafiq's headquarters was in tears.

Official results are not expected until June 21, but a final unofficial tally is expected within hours.

Electoral commission officials extended voting for two hours on Sunday in part to allow people to cast their ballots in the relative cool of the evening.

Turnout, only 46 percent in the first round, appeared to have been no higher for the run-off held over two days.

The new president will inherit a struggling economy, deteriorating security and the challenge of uniting a nation divided by the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak in February 2011.

Military Coup

The claims of victory by the Brotherhood’s candidate came shortly after the ruling military issued new rules that made clear real power remains with the army.

"Grave setback for democracy and revolution," tweeted former UN diplomat and Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei.

"SCAF retains legislative power, strips president of any authority over army and solidifies its control," he said, referring to the ruling military council.

The ruling council issued a complementary constitutional declaration, which spelled out only limited powers for the new head of state.

In the new declaration, the army reclaimed for itself the lawmaking prerogatives held by the Islamist-led parliament which the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolved last week.

"SCAF will carry legislative responsibilities ... until a new parliament is elected," the council's order said.

Under the latest order, writing of the new constitution may pass to a body appointed by the SCAF - if a court rules against the contested panel nominated by the now defunct legislature.

Any new constitution would need approval in a referendum, with a new parliamentary election following.

By a timetable contained in the decree, it would take another five months or so to complete the planned "transition to democracy".

"The 'unconstitutional declaration' continues an outright military coup," tweeted the moderate Islamist,” former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul-Futuh tweeted.

"We have a duty to confront it."

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