Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood claims presidential victory
Posted Monday, June 18 2012 at 08:20
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on Monday claimed a historic victory for their candidate Mohammed Mursi in the first presidential vote since the 2011 uprising that overthrew former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
"Doctor Mohammed Mursi is the first Egyptian president of the republic elected by the people," read a tweet from the official Twitter account of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood's political arm.
The announcement came after votes were counted at over 97 percent of Egypt's 13,000 polling stations, as members of the Brotherhood's formidable network observed the process.
Muslim Brotherhood officials confirmed the projected victory at a press conference, saying Mursi had taken over 52 percent of the vote which pitted him against former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.
Shafiq's campaign declined comment on Mursi's projected win, and officials at his headquarters appeared in shock.
Shortly after 4:00 am local time (0100 GMT), Mursi spoke to reporters, thanking Egyptians for their votes and pledging to work to "hand-in-hand with all Egyptians for a better future, freedom, democracy, development and peace."
"We are not seeking vengeance or to settle accounts," he said, adding that he would build a "modern, democratic state" for all Egypt's citizens, Muslims and Christians.
But Mursi's victory comes against the backdrop of a new constitutional declaration by the country's ruling military council, issued as polls closed on Sunday.
The declaration gives the military legislative power after a court ruling Thursday ordered the Islamist-led parliament dissolved, setting the Brotherhood on a collision course with the ruling council.