Egypt will announce the results of its presidential election tomorrow as protesters led by the Muslim Brotherhood gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to condemn the expansion of the army’s powers.
Results will be announced at 3 p.m. Cairo time, state-run Middle East News Agency and Ahram Gate website reported. Ahram Gate cited Omar Salama, a member of the election commission. The results, originally scheduled for June 21, were delayed because the election commission needed more time to review appeals, the Middle East News Agency reported June 20.
The Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi declared himself the winner over former premier Ahmed Shafik hours after polls closed on June 17. Shafik, the last prime minister under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, has also said he expects to win.
The ruling military has come under pressure after it awarded itself new legislative powers and limited those held by the incoming president. The move, on top of the court-ordered dissolution of the Islamic-dominated parliament, has outraged Islamists and revolutionary activist groups who have dubbed the steps a “coup.”
The military and Mursi, who heads the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, traded blame yesterday as the ruling generals issued a statement stressing that they have shown restraint up until now, and that any attempts to sow unrest in the nation would be dealt with harshly. It also blamed the Brotherhood, without naming them, of stirring tension by pre-maturely announcing the results of the runoff.
Mursi, meanwhile, called for the quick release of the results and urged the ruling generals to relinquish their new powers. The Islamist also said he was committed to appointing deputies and advisers from all segments of Egyptians society, including the minority Christians and the youth.
Egypt’s economy has struggled to recover since the revolt last year, as tourists and investors stayed away. Political tensions have stalled efforts to negotiate a $3.2 billion loan accord with the International Monetary Fund.
Shafik, a former air force commander who briefly served as premier in the last weeks of Mubarak’s rule, ran on a law-and-order platform, highlighting the deterioration of security since the revolt last year that ousted Mubarak. He told a press conference on June 21 that he is confident of winning, and accused the Brotherhood of pre-empting the count and trying to pressure the election committee through protests.