After two days of polling in Egypt's runoff presidential election, the Muslim Brotherhood has declared victory despite claims to the contrary by the group's opponent. Official results are expected Thursday.
The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood declared it had won the presidential runoff election early Monday morning, which would make the its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) candidate, Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first head of state since former ruler Hosni Mubarak was ousted in popular protests last year.
The outcome was based on results reported by Morsi's campaign representatives and by records from all polling stations.
"It's a moment that all the Egyptian people have waited for," said Morsi's campaign head, Ahmed Abdelati.
The Brotherhood's claim of victory, however, was disputed by the runoff's other candidate, Ahmed Shafiq, who served as the last prime minister during the Mubarak era.
"We reject it completely," Shafiq's campaign official Mahmud Barakeh told reporters. "We are astonished by this bizarre behavior which amounts to a hijacking of the election results," he said, claiming to have figures that showed Shafiq was leading the vote.
Official results are not due until Thursday.
Miltary increases hold
Meanwhile, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a new constitutional document after polls closed Sunday granting itself legislative powers following a court decision last week to dissolve parliament. The court had ruled that a third of parliament members had been elected illegally.
This could put the SCAF at odds with the Brotherhood, which said Sunday's constitutional declaration was "null and void."
The military have promised to hand power to the newly elected president by the end of June.
mz/ncy (AP, AFP, Reuters)