Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood declared early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, had won the run-off presidential elections. The military leadership, meanwhile, announced that it would control the legislative process and withhold parliamentary elections until a constitution is drawn.
After polls closed on Sunday following two days of voting, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) instituted an interim constitution granting themselves control over the budget and the final say on who will write the country’s permanent constitution. Last week, before the introduction of an interim constitution, the SCAF introduced de-facto martial law, giving military police and intelligence agents the right to arrest civilians for a host of suspected crimes, some as minor as obstructing traffic. On Thursday, in a move most riling the Brotherhood, a ruling by Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court dissolved parliament, where the group held nearly 50 per cent of the seats.
As the Brotherhood claimed victory, a potential struggle over spheres of authority between Egypt’s two strongest forces looms, with the Brotherhood expected to challenge the military’s seizure of power. The Brotherhood has declared it does not recognise the dissolution of parliament nor the military’s interim constitution, or its right to oversee the drafting of a new one. At a pre-dawn press conference Monday declaring their win, officials from the Muslim Brotherhood were enthusiastic and smiling, as supporters chanted, “Down with military rule.”
Official results from Egypt’s presidential election are not expected until Thursday. The Brotherhood’s declaration was based on results announced by election officials at individual counting centres. The Brotherhood’s early, partial counts proved generally accurate in last month’s first round vote.
The group said Morsi took 51.8 per cent of the vote to Shafiq’s 48.1 per cent out of 24.6 million votes cast, with 98 per cent of the more than 13,000 poll centres counted.