18 Jun 2012

Military intervenes as Muslim Brotherhood wins

9:01 pm on 18 June 2012

Egypt's vote for a new president has been overshadowed by a declaration from the country's ruling military council, granting itself sweeping powers over legislation and the budget.

Ruling military officer on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) say new general elections can not be held until a permanent constitution is drawn up.

Their surprise announcement comes as the Muslim Brotherhood claims to have won the presidency with 52.5 percent of the vote.

Votes are being counted in Egypt following the run off presidential election between an Islamist candidate and a former Prime Minister under Hosni Mubarak.

The announcement also gives the SCAF legislative control, the BBC reports.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood says its candidate, Mohammed Mursi, has won Sunday's presidential election.

Mr Mursi, an Islamist, is competing against Ahmed Shafiq, who served as prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak.

Mr Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood said he was holding a 52%-48% lead over Mr Shafiq with almost all the vote counted after Sunday's second-round run-off election.

Speaking at his party headquarters, Mr Mursi pledged to be a president for all Egyptians, adding that he would not "seek revenge or settle scores".

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

But Mr Shafiq's campaign said it rejected "completely" the victory claim by Mr Mursi.

"We are astonished by this bizarre behaviour which amounts to a hijacking of the election results," Shafiq campaign official Mahmud Barakeh says.

Mr Shafiq has campaigned on a platform of a return to stability and law and order, the BBC reports.

Mr Mursi has cast himself as a revolutionary and part of the movement that overthrew Hosni Mubarak, and has promised economic and political reform.

He has also softened his religious stance in an attempt to attract liberals and minorities.

His Muslim Brotherhood alliance has denounced the dissolution of parliament as unlawful and a coup against democracy.