Electoral workers count ballots at polling station in Cairo after polls close in presidential runoff
Electoral workers count ballots at polling station in Cairo after polls close in presidential runoff
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In the Egypt presidential runoff held over the weekend, the Muslim Brotherhood has declared victory for its candidate, Mohammed Mursi.

The official website of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party announced: "Mohammed Mursi is the first popularly elected civilian president of Egypt," Reuters reported.

The Brotherhood claims its candidate has secured 52 percent of the votes.

But Mubarak's former aide Ahmed Shafiq's side contested the claim, saying the Brotherhood was hijacking the election.

The official results have yet to be announced by the election committee.

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

Mursi also vowed not to seek revenge or settle scores with opposition forces.

Following Mursi's apparent triumph, his supporters celebrated in Cairo, waving Brotherhood flags and shouting slogans against the military council.

The ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (Scaf) quickly declared sweeping powers for itself to protect its authority.

The military council announced that fresh general elections cannot be conducted until a permanent constitution for the country comes into effect, indicating that legislative control will remain with Scaf, according to the BBC.

"Grave setback for democracy and revolution. Scaf retains legislative power, strips president of any authority over army and solidifies its control," tweeted former UN diplomat and Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei.

Critics anticipated that military council would try to hang on to power and that the elections would be no more than a show.

Some army insiders even suggested that the military council will give powers to the new president only after the winner was declared.

Shafiq, deposed president Hosni Mubarak's final prime minister, has been depicted by his critics as a puppet of the military council.