Egyptians protest military rule at Tahrir Square

By Alex Veeneman on June 22, 2012

Protesters at Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital Cairo during the Arab Spring in February last year.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Kodak Agfa)

Protesters have gathered at Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital Cairo in response to plans by the country’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that work would be done to instill more power, as the results of the runoff vote in the presidential elections held June 17 await official release.

The military said that unofficial figures had been released citing the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi winning the election with almost 52 percent of the vote, and blamed political division on the release of these specific figures, according to a report from the BBC. However, Mursi’s opponent, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, speaking to reporters at a hotel in Cairo according to the BBC, said he too had been confident of victory. “I am fully confident that I will be the legitimate winner,” Shafiq said.

Mursi criticized the move by the military, in addition to the announcement of the dissolving of parliament. Mursi said according to the BBC that the military had “no need for a declaration that cripples the powers of the coming president”. The country’s Justice ministry, the BBC report adds, has authorized the military to arrest civilians for trial in military courts until a new constitution in the country had been invoked, as part of a new constiutional declaration. The declaration adds that parliamentary elections were suspended until a new constitution was approved.

Earlier this week, election officials delayed the official release of the figures because of complaints filed by both Mursi and Shafiq, which had totaled almost 400. Officials with the country’s election authorities said they needed more time to evaluate the complaints of both parites before proceeding with the official release of the results.

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