Authors: Jeanette Torres
(CAIRO) -- With most of the ballots tallied from this weekend’s presidential election in Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, leader of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, declared victory early Monday even as former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq refused to concede.
There’s speculation even as the final votes are counted that the eventual winner will have little say over the military council’s powers, giving it control of legislation, the budget and a new committee to draft the post-Mubarak constitution. The official results will be released on Thursday.
The already-controversial race became more problematic last week when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dissolved parliament after declaring illegalities in the voting that gave Islamist lawmakers a third of the body.
Many Egyptians, who’ve waited decades for a truly democratic election and government, now believe the military council is staging a “soft coup.”
On top of that, lack of enthusiasm for the two candidates did not generate a crush of voters at the polls on either Saturday or Sunday. Saturday was the lighter of the two days because many Egyptians worried their ballots would be tossed out by unscrupulous election officials.
The general feeling was that voters were attempting to pick between the lesser of two evils: a return to the ways of the old government that was overthrown 16 months ago or an Islamist regime that could turn back hard-fought social gains.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio