Egypt's ruling military council warned yesterday that it would use its powers to overcome protesters' threats to confront the regime if it announced a former general won last week's presidential election. It accused the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi, of stirring up emotions that drew thousands into Cairo's Tahrir Square as a mounting political crisis threatened to come to a head.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said everyone should accept its "legal decisions" and refused to reverse its dissolution of parliament and its declaration reserving sweeping powers and a constitutional veto. "The army and the police will combat any attacks on Egypt's public or private institutions and enforce the law immediately," a spokesman said. Mr Morsi retorted that the generals were defying the democratic will of the people and said protests would go on.
The Brotherhood has claimed that he won a narrow but clear victory. The election commission is expected to release the result of last week's vote over the weekend.
Brotherhood supporters fear the delay is to enable the commission to find a way of disqualifying enough voters to give victory to the former general and Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, who trailed by a million votes, according to unofficial counts. Mr Shafiq has said he is confident that he will be declared the winner. (© Daily Telegraph, London)