Tahrir square
Declaration of Egypt's presidential winner is delayed.
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Egypt's electoral authority has delayed declaring the winner of the presidential run-off poll to look into complaints of electoral abuses during voting.

The winner of the first free presidential election in the country was due to be announced and its delay has fresh sparked fears of an army coup.

"The committee has decided to continue to examine the appeals, which involves looking at records and logs related to the electoral process, and this will necessitate more time before announcing the final results," Higher Presidential Elections Commission secretary-general Hatem Bagato said.

According to the commission (HPEC), nearly 400 complaints about electoral abuse have been filed by the two presidential contenders, Mohamed Mursi and Ahmed Shafiq. Both claim to have won the election.

"We cannot announce when exactly the timing of the announcement of the Egypt election results will be because now we are at the stage of listening to the representatives," Bagato said, according to Reuters.

Several independent newspapers said that Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood had won with nearly 52 percent of the vote against Shafik's 48 percent.

The Brotherhood and secular groups fear that a military coup is being hatched as an delays on a result announcement drag on into a fourth day.

"If Shafiq is declared the winner, this will make the coup clear. This encroachment on the result may lead to a confrontation between the people and the army," Mahmoud Ghozlah, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, told the Saudi-backed newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat.

The army's intentions were also put to test after the state news agency wrongly reported on Tuesday that jailed former president Hosni Mubarak was clinically dead.

The army was accused of hampering the democratic transition of authority even though it maintained that it would hand over power by the 30 June deadline.

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (Scaf), which took control of the country after Mubarak was toppled in February 2011, dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament on 16 June.

Scaf's interim constitution, which it issued after the polls, kept legislative and budgetary powers and the right to veto any part of the new constitution to itself.