Mubarak has been serving a life sentence at Cairo’s Torah Prison for failing to stop the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising against his rule last year. The verdict against him has already been a spark for protests — thousands massed in Tahrir when the court acquitted him and his sons on separate corruption charges and cleared several top security chiefs on the protester killings.
The multiple disputes have turned a moment that was once anticipated by some as a landmark in Egypt’s post-Mubarak transition — the election of the first civilian president in 60 years — into a potentially destabilizing snarl.
The Brotherhood first announced Morsi’s victory early Monday, around six hours after polls closed. It said its claim was based on returns announced by election officials from each counting center around the country. Each campaign has representatives at every center, who compile the individual returns. The Brotherhood’s compilation during the first round of voting last month proved generally accurate.
Shafiq, a former air force commander who was named prime minister during Mubarak’s last days, is seen by his opponents as likely to preserve the military-backed police state that his former boss headed for three decades. He, in turn, has presented himself as a strongman able to keep Egypt stable and out of the hands of the Brotherhood, playing on fears the group will turn the country into an Islamic state.
Just as polls closed on Sunday night, the military — which has ruled since Mubarak fell on Feb. 11, 2011 — issued a constitutional declaration that gave themselves power that all but subordinates the new president. Critics called it a “coup” intended to maintain their control over the state even after they nominally transfer authorities to the president by July 1.
The declaration gave the generals legislative powers and control over the process of drafting a new constitution and the national budget. It also shields the military against any kind of civilian oversight and allows the generals to run their own affairs without interference from civilian authorities.
A court ruling also dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament last week, a verdict that has been endorsed by a decree issued by military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Also last week, the military-backed government granted military police and intelligence agents the right to arrest civilians for a host of suspected crimes, a move that many viewed as tantamount to a declaration of martial law.
The Brotherhood and its Islamist allies rejected the dissolution decree and insists the parliament is still in effect.
Tens of thousands demonstrated in Cairo and the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria Tuesday evening to denounce the constitutional declaration, which also strips the next president of significant powers and the court ruling.
The estimated 50,000 protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, birthplace of last year’s anti-Mubarak uprising, were mostly Brotherhood supporters and other Islamists joined by a small group of leftist and liberal activists.
“It is not possible to have a revolution and then have military rule and a president with no authority,” said protester Mohammed Abdel-Hameed, a 48-year-old schoolmaster who said he came with his son and others to Tahrir from Fayyoum, an oasis province 60 miles (100 kilometers) southwest of Cairo.
“If they want blood we are ready to offer blood. I am. So that my son can live free,” warned Abdel-Hameed, who wore traditional galabeya robes.View Entire Story
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