Egyptian rivals unite to confront the military

Secular groups back Muslim Brotherhood's call for millions to march against 'soft coup'

Cairo

An emboldened Muslim Brotherhood appeared to be on a collision course with Egypt's ruling generals last night, as it called on its millions of supporters to protest against this week's military power grab and the recent dissolution of the Islamist-led parliament.

The call, which followed the Brotherhood's disputed claims of victory in the final round of presidential elections, came as Egypt's unelected army rulers faced further pressure from Washington yesterday.

Responding to what commentators have called a "soft coup" – which saw the military carve up substantial new powers for itself via an executive decree – officials in the US said they would review more than £1bn in annual military subsidies unless there was a swift handover to civilian rule.

The comments reflect the manner in which Washington's alliance with Cairo, for years a keystone of America's Middle East diplomacy, has grown frosty over the past 18 months. The Obama administration, though nervous about the ascendancy of political Islam, has also grown wary of the authoritarian methods being deployed by Egypt's generals.

In a further development, campaign officials for Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister to serve under deposed President Hosni Mubarak, claimed yesterday that their man had won the presidential poll. Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood candidate, has also claimed victory. Official results are due to be released tomorrow.

Last night, further conflict loomed as plans for a "million man march" in Cairo's Tahrir Square emerged. The demonstration was called by the Muslim Brotherhood but was supported by secular revolutionary groups such as the 6 April youth movement, which played a major role in last year's uprisings. The move appears to show how the political sands are shifting again.

Liberal political factions have previously accused the Brotherhood of stitching up a closed-door deal with the military in exchange for political gains, and many still subscribe to this view.

But Tamir Fouad, a spokesman for 6 April, said he believed that the Brotherhood is now under no illusions about the military's alleged intentions.

"They think we were right about our campaign against the military council," said Mr Fouad. "I think now they believe in the revolution."

"The confrontation between the military and Muslim Brotherhood is going to intensify," said Hani Shukrallah, managing editor of Ahram Online. "The military is now in conflict with them on almost every single issue."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is now ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral