Egypt to announce election result Sunday | News | DW | 23.06.2012
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Egypt to announce election result Sunday

Egyptians have been waiting for a week to find out who won the presidential runoff. The head of the election commission has confirmed they will indeed learn the result on Sunday.

Farouk Sultan, the head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission, on Saturday confirmed that the official results would be released on Sunday at a press conference in Cairo at 3 p.m. (1:00 UTC).

Tens of thousands of Egyptians were gathered on Tahrir Square in Cairo on Saturday in protests against the delay in publishing the results of Sunday's presidential election and the ruling military council's power grab.

The protests, which have been ongoing since the election commission said it would not release election results on Thursday, include members and supporters of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and several secular movements.

The Muslim Brotherhood insists that its candidate, Mohamed Morsi, won the election, a claim that has been rejected by his opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, a premier under former President Hosni Mubarak.

The race has polarized the country between those who want to keep religion out of politics and fear the Brotherhood would stifle personal freedoms, and others who fear a return to the old regime under Shafiq's leadership.

Tension heightens

Egyptian protesters shout slogans in Tahrir Square as the country awaits the outcome of a presidential runoff vote in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 23, 2012. Tens of thousands of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have rallied in the capital's Tahrir Square in a show of force backing candidate Mohammed Morsi, who has warned against manipulating results in a vote that he says he has won. (Foto:Manu Brabo/AP/dapd)

Tahrir Square has been the site of protests day and night since midweek

The delay in the publication of results raised suspicion in Egypt that the result was being negotiated rather than counted.

The ruling military council, which had promised to hand over power to civilians by July 1, dissolved the parliament on the eve of the election and then issued a decree as polls closed on Sunday, setting strict limits on the powers of whoever would be elected president.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces assumed legislative powers after a court ordered the Islamist-led parliament dissolved and issued decrees giving the army powers of arrest and a broad say in government policy, curbing the powers of the president.

Protesters have been in Tahrir Square since the constitutional document was issued on Sunday.

Some chanted "down with military rule" and called on the military to reverse the constitutional declaration that gave it sweeping powers.

ncy, rg/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP)