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Islamist claims victory in Egypt president vote

ICC Note:

The Muslim Brotherhood declared that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election, The Associated Press reports. Most Christians in Egypt voted for Ahmed Shafiq, Morsi’s opposition and a former member of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Christians fear that an Islamist president will mean less freedoms and more attacks against them and their places of worship. Also noteworthy is that last week, the military council dissolved Egypt’s lower house of parliament and enforced martial law. The generals are trying to effectively remove Islamists from power, meaning that there will either be a confrontation with the new president or else the Muslim Brotherhood will have to compromise its ideals to reach an agreement with the military.

By Lee Keath

6/18/2012 Egypt (Associated Press) – The Muslim Brotherhood declared early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election, which would be the first victory of an Islamist as head of state in the stunning wave of protests demanding democracy that swept the Middle East the past year. But the military handed itself the lion's share power over the new president, sharpening the possibility of confrontation.

With parliament dissolved and martial law effectively in force, the generals issued an interim constitution making themselves Egypt's lawmakers, taking control over the budget and granting themselves the power to determine who writes the permanent constitution that will define the country's future.

But as they claimed a narrow victory over Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq after a deeply polarizing election, the Brotherhood challenged the military's power grab. The group insisted on Sunday that it did not recognize the dissolution of parliament, where it was the largest party. It also said it rejects the military's interim constitution and its right to oversee the drafting of a new one.

That pointed to a potential struggle over spheres of authority between Egypt's two strongest forces. The Brotherhood has campaigned on a platform of bringing Egypt closer to a form of Islamic rule, but the military's grip puts it in a position to block that. Instead any conflict would likely center on more basic questions of power.

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