Muslim Brotherhood claims victory in Engypt polls

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Cairo: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (MB) declared on Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, had won the country's first free presidential election. However, the ruling military, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), issued an interim constitution hinting that it was not ready yet to part with power. It also dissolved the Islamist-led Parliamant on the eve of the election. A senior member of the SCAF, however, said that if the MB was found a true winner, the military authorities will transfer power in a 'grand way' to the newly-elected president by June end. It is learnt that Egypt's Western allies supported the military's stand.

Although the results of the poll would be declared on Tuesday, the MB revealed a tally which showed Morsi had bagged nearly 52 per cent of the votes to defeat Ahmed Shafiq, the last Prime Minister appointed by the deposed President, Hosni Mubarak in January 2011, who got about 48 per cent of the votes. If Morsi's victory is confirmed officially, he would be the first Islamist to become the head of state, riding a pro-democracy uprising in the Arab world.

MB supporters, however, celebrated in the streets and were defiant towards the military men who wanted to delay the transfer of power. Mursi, an US-educated engineer said during his 'victory' speech that God has guided the Egyptians towards freedom and democracy and united them for a great future. The leader, who also served as a political prisoner in the past, said his side would not indulge in any kind of 'revenge' politics.

Meanwhile, Shafik refused to concede defeat in the election and accused Morsi of hijacking the election. Many supporters of candidates who bowed out after the first-round of election last month, however, stayed away from the latest developments as for them, Egypt was either going back to the old regime or a future religious state.

Observers of Egyptian politics said although the MB warned of dangerous consequences over the military's power to dissolve the parliament, but it is unlikely that the Islamists would launch a violent attack to grab power at this moment.

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