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Egypt Muslim Brotherhood claims victory in presidential vote

EGYPT: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood claimed a victory for its candidate Mohammed Mursi on Monday in the country’s first presidential vote since its uprising, but his rival Ahmed Shafiq disputed the announcement.

“The campaign of Dr Mohammed Mursi announced... his victory as president of the Arab Republic of Egypt according to the results reported by its representatives and counting records from all polling stations,” the organisation said in a statement, adding Mursi had won 52 percent of the vote.

“It’s a moment that all the Egyptian people have waited for,” said Mursi’s campaign head Ahmed Abdelati at an earlier press conference in which he confirmed the projected win. But a Shafiq camxaign official said their figures showed Shafiq, who served as prime minister to deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, leading in the count. “We reject it completely,” Mahmud Barakeh, said of the Brotherhood’s claim. “We are astonished by this bizarre behaviour which amounts to a hijacking of the election results.” There were scenes of jubilation at Mursi’s headquarters, where the candidate himself thanked Egyptians for their votes in brief remarks.

He pledged 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.

Supporters screamed with excitement, some wiping tears from their eyes. Several hundred held a victory rally in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square after the announcement.

The Brotherhood mobilised their formidable network of supporters to receive tallies from polling stations across the country and deliver early unofficial results, but final official figures are not expected until June 21.

AFP

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