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Question of the Day
Morsi also sought to assuage his critics. Secular and liberal groups have been highly critical of the Brotherhood, accusing it of being power hungry at the expense of forming a national consensus.
He appeared at the press conference with a group of leading public figures and protest leaders who said it was time to “forgive” the Brotherhood’s mistakes to face what they said were attempts to establish a “military state.”
He promised the groups a national coalition government with an independent prime minister who is not a Brotherhood member and wide representation in the presidency.
Wael Ghonim, a former Google executive and one of the leading figures behind the protests against Mubarak last year, was among those rallying behind Morsi. He said it was time to put political differences aside.
“Our support is not to the Brotherhood, but to the legitimacy and democracy against any attempts by anyone — either those with guns or those waging misleading media campaigns,” Ghonim said.
Meanwhile, state media has taken a sharp tone against the Brotherhood, accusing the group of fomenting unrest and warning it against unleashing armed militias.
Late Thursday, Shafiq repeated his claim of victory and charged that the Brotherhood was “playing games” and striking “backdoor deals” with outside powers to influence the results.
Shafiq denounced the Brotherhood’s public appeals. “These protests in the squares and fear-mongering campaigns in the media are all aimed at putting pressure on the election commission,” he said.
By the Brotherhood’s count, Morsi took 52 percent of the vote to Shafiq’s 48 percent. The claim was based on the group’s own compilation of election officials’ returns from nearly all polling centers. The Brotherhood’s early partial counts proved generally accurate in last month’s first round of the presidential election.
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