Muslim Brotherhood`s Mursi wins Egyptian Prez poll

Mursi won the historic post-Mubarak Presidential polls in Egypt to become the country`s first freely elected President.

Updated: Jul 24, 2012, 08:55 AM IST

Cairo: Muslim Brotherhood`s Mohammed Mursi on Tuesday won the historic post-Mubarak Presidential polls in Egypt, beating his rival and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq to become the country`s first freely elected President.

Supreme Presidential Elections Commission head Farouq Sultan announced that Mursi had won the Presidential run-off.

Mursi, 60, won 51.73 per cent of the vote, beating his rival Shafiq, the Higher Presidential Election Commission said.

Sultan said the Election Commission had upheld some of the 466 complaints by the candidates, but that the election result still stood.

The announcement prompted scenes of jubilation in Cairo`s Tahrir Square, where Mursi`s supporters gathered.

Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters had packed Cairo`s iconic Tahrir Square in anticipation of a win for their candidate, waving flags and chanting pro-Mursi slogans.

Some schools and shops closing early and people rushed home amid fears of unrest after the result.

Extra troops and police were deployed across Cairo as military helicopters hovered above the city.

The road leading to parliament was shut to traffic, and security measures were in place to protect vital establishments.

Egypt`s military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi today congratulated Mursi on his presidential victory.

"Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi congratulates Dr Mohamed Morsi on winning the presidency of the republic," state media reported.

The military and the Brotherhood have been in a public conflict in recent days. The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has criticised the Mursi campaign for announcing his victory too early, while the Brotherhood have warned against fraud.

A series of controversial decrees by the ruling SCAF have angered the Islamists who say they are designed to reduce or constrain the power of the President, and entrench the power of the military.

Earlier, Tantawi had announced the re-establishment of a National Defence Council, putting the generals in charge of Egypt`s national security policy.

Reports have also circulated that the Brotherhood was in negotiations with the SCAF over the presidency.

The inauguration of Mursi, nonetheless, does not imply that the military institution will loosen its grip on power. Recent developments give the military junta extra authorities at the expense of the President`s.

Mursi was the first to claim victory last Monday after voting wrapped up.

Mursi`s rival Shafiq, a former Air Force commander and the last prime minister under deposed President Hosni Mubarak, had also claimed victory after the run-off.

SPEC said that they were examining more than 400 appeals of irregularities during the voting which caused delay in the announcement of the results.

Egypt`s 2012 Presidential Elections were the second in the country`s history.

The first Egyptian Presidential polls took place in 2005 and saw then president Mubarak secure a clear victory, which many observers chalked up to massive vote-rigging by the now defunct National Democratic Party (NDP).

Mubarak, 84, remained in power for 30 years until the military forced his resignation after 18 days of countrywide protests.

Men held their heads between their hands in despair and many women cried as Egypt brimmed with emotions at the historic announcement.

Sultan, first began the news conference for announcing Mursi`s victory by saying the declaration of the result had been "marred by tension and a bad atmosphere".

"The commission applied the law when it looked into the ballots. There is nothing above the law," he asserted.

Sultan also dismissed what he said had been the two most serious complaints of electoral violations, that some ballots had been printed with the name of one candidate already ticked, and that Christians had been prevented from voting in a village in Minya governorate.

He then spent several minutes announcing minor amendments to the vote tallies before announcing Mursi as the winner.

The turnout in last weekend voting was 51.58 per cent, Sultan added.

Electoral tension loomed large in Egypt in recent days along with the question of how much power the new President will actually wield now that the military council has full legislative authority.

Under an interim Constitutional declaration, the military council retains the power to make laws and budget decisions until a new constitution is written and a new parliament elected.