Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood claimed early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election.
The party made the announcement after votes from nearly all Egypt's 13,000 polling stations had been counted. If confirmed, it will be the culmination of a long political struggle for the once-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
"Dr. Mohammad Morsi is the first president elected by the people," said the Party of Freedom and Justice (PFJ), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhoods, on its Twitter account. Dr. Morsi's campaign manager, Ahmad Abdelati, for his part, said in a press conference that Mr. Morsi had obtained 52.5% against 47.5% for his rival Ahmad Shafiq, after counting the votes of nearly 98% of polling stations and taking into account the vote of Egyptians abroad whose results were compiled in recent days.
After the announcement of his victory, Morsi spoke at his headquarters and thanked those who voted for him and pledged to work "hand in hand with the Egyptians for a better future, for freedom, democracy and peace." He also promised to "serve all Egyptians" whatever their political or religious persuasions.
Official results are to be announced on June 21 by the Election Commission.
The announcement was immediately rejected by the camp of Mr. Shafiq, a retired general considered as the candidate of the army which holds the reins of the country since the fall of Mubarak. "We reject it completely," said Mahmoud Barakeh, a campaign official of Mr. Shafiq. "We are surprised by this bizarre behavior which amounts to hijack the election result," he added.
Meanwhile, Egypt's ruling military has issued a declaration apparently granting itself sweeping powers, as the country awaits results of presidential elections, AFP reported.
More as it becomes available.