Egypt's generals accused of 'soft coup' as two candidates claim presidency
Tuesday 19 June 2012
Egypt's ruling generals were yesterday accused of mounting a "soft coup" by assuming sweeping new political powers even as the Muslim Brotherhood claimed a dramatic victory in the final round of the presidential polls – the country's first since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak last year.
Egyptians living in downtown Cairo awoke to the sound of honking car horns as supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood's candidate, rushed towards Tahrir Square to celebrate what they believe is an epoch-making victory after the knife-edge vote. Arriving at his central Cairo headquarters yesterday morning, Mr Morsi assumed the mantle of the victor with a triumphant speech.
But even as he proclaimed a democratic victory, there were fears about the creeping hand of the ruling generals, who took over in the wake of Mubarak's ouster to oversee the transition to an elected government.
In a grim augury for the future of the country's revolution, the military council issued a decree on Sunday night granting itself sweeping new powers, including oversight over legislation and the ability to appoint a committee drafting the new constitution. It has led to suggestions from some political groups that Egypt's generals remain intent on undermining the country's transition.
Meanwhile, the Brotherhood was accused of pre-empting the official results of the weekend's elections, which are not due out until Thursday. "Thank God, who guided the people of Egypt to this correct path, the road of freedom, democracy," Mr Morsi declared.
His supposed triumph – announced by his group just hours after polls closed – was immediately disputed by officials working alongside his opponent, Ahmed Shafik, who was Mubarak's last prime minister. Speaking on Egypt's ONTV channel, Mr Shafik's spokesman condemned the Brotherhood for pre-empting the official count.
He accused the Islamist organisation of engaging in "pathetic media manipulation" by announcing preliminary figures on its website. In an interview with The Independent, another official working for Mr Shafik suggested the Brotherhood was subverting the democratic process.
Whoever won, they did so by a whisker. Figures released by Mr Morsi's team – based on private tallies by campaign workers obtained from judges overseeing counting stations – claimed their man had triumphed with 52 per cent of the vote, just four points ahead of Shafik. On the flip side, the Shafik campaign said their candidate had his nose ahead with between 51 to 52 per cent of the vote.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...