Islamist Candidate Is Apparent Victor in Egypt as Military Cements Its Powers
CAIRO — Faced with the popular election of the first Islamist head of state in the Arab world, Egypt’s ruling generals sought on Monday to soften the appearance of their continued hold on power as they entered a period of negotiations over the balance of executive, legislative and military power.
In a two-hour news conference, members of the ruling military council made no reference to the election results that by early morning showed Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood had defeated Ahmed Shafik, a former Air Force general and Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, in the runoff to choose Egypt’s first democratically elected president. The ballots were counted in front of television cameras and party observers in polling places around the country to preclude fraud, and independent observers concluded that Mr. Morsi had won by a margin of about 4 percentage points, or about a million votes.
The election officials will not formally confirm the results until later in the week, however, and Ahmed Sarhan, a spokesman for Mr. Shafik, insisted on Monday that the general was the true winner and the Brotherhood had ‘terrorized’ voters. He offered no evidence, and both the state-run and unofficial media reported that Mr. Morsi had a decisive lead in the vote count.