The Muslim Brotherhood may have declared victory in Egypt's historic presidential election, but Cairo's military rulers have made it clear that they'll be the ones calling the shots.
“Dr. Mohammed Morsi is the first Egyptian president of the republic elected by the people,” the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) said in the tweet that first announced their projected win, according to Al Arabiya.
An election committee source told Reuters that Islamist Mohamed Morsi, a U.S.-educated engineer, was comfortably ahead of former air force general Ahmed Shafik.
The party claims to have won 52.5 per cent of votes cast, based on a count of 97.6 per cent of the country’s 13,100 polling stations. Khaled Qazzaz, a Muslim Brotherhood official, said Shafik had 47.5 per cent of the votes counted, according to RT news.
If these results stand, Morsi will have won Egypt's first post-uprising elections, succeeding toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak Ahram online reports.
We reject it completely
“We are reaching out to Shafiq’s campaign to end the elections race and competition and to part amicably as friends,” Morsi campaign official Yasser Ali said.
But a Shafiq campaign official said they will do nothing of the sort.
"We reject it completely," Mahmud Baraka, the media official of Shafiq’s campaign, said of the Brotherhood's claim. "We are astonished by this bizarre behavior."
“The campaign of Ahmed Shafiq is astonished by the conference of the FJP that represents a violation of the laws of the election commission,” Baraka said, accusing the Brotherhood of “hijacking the election result.”
As a matter of fact, their figures showed their candidate in the lead.
“Our counting of the votes have so far showed that we are ahead with 52 percent of the vote but we refuse to break the law and issue any numbers now,” he said.
Meanwhile, there were scenes of jubilation at Morsi’s headquarters, where the candidate himself thanked Egyptians for their votes in brief remarks.
Morsi pledged to serve both those who voted for him and those who did not and also vowed to seek justice for those killed in the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year. More than 850 people died in the uprising, and dozens more have in violence since then.
A president with no powers
“To all the martyrs and to their families ... I pledge to return their rights through law and in a law-abiding nation,” Morsi said, speaking at the Cairo headquarters of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
But first he will have to ask permission from the ones with power: the military rulers.
The generals who have run the country since the overthrow of Mubarak, handed itself the lion's share power over the new president shortly after the polls closed Sunday.
As Fox notes, they will be Egypt's lawmakers, they will control the budget and they will determine who writes the permanent constitution that will define the country's future.
Egypt's local media quickly got the message.
"The military hands power to the military," read the headline of the independent daily al-Masry al-Youm,the AFP says..
"A president with no powers," read the huge headline of the independent al-Shorouk.
Revolutionary youth movements denounced the declaration as a "coup" while the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said it rejected any bid by the military to retake legislative power.
“We will sit with the military council to discuss the constitutional decree amendments which we refuse fully and will go to Tahrir Square next Tuesday to protest against these amendments,” Ali said.
No one wins
Meanwhile, according to CNN, some disgruntled voters see this election as a no win situation. Some voters even launched a campaign to invalidate ballots, said Mohamed Ghoneim, the founder of a group that marked "X" on the names of both Morsi and Shafik, thereby nullifying their vote.
Mohamed Khamees was one such person. He lost sight in his left eye from a police beating in Tahrir Square during the early 2011 protests.
"If I give this country for the Brotherhood hands, there is not going to be any more Egypt, it will be destroyed," he told CNN. "And if I give it to someone from the old system, it looks like we did nothing."
Ahram online says official results will be announced by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission on Thursday, 21 June.