Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Ahmed Shafik, who served as Egyptian prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, will be announced as the winner of the country's presidential runoff election on Sunday evening, Egpytian daily Al-Ahram reported Friday, citing government sources.
Al-Ahram quoted a source in the current Egyptian government as saying Shafik will be declared victor with 50.7 percent of the vote.
Both Shafik and rival candidate Mohamed Morsy of the Muslim Brotherhood have previously declared themselves the winner of the runoff election.
The results of the election were originally scheduled to be announced on Thursday, but the announcement was delayed as Egypt's electoral commission investigated charges of fraud lodged by both sides.
Egypt's military rulers dismissed complaints from protesters on Friday that it was entrenching its rule and blamed the Muslim Brotherhood's Morsy for stirring up emotions that drew thousands onto Cairo's Tahrir Square.
The Islamist candidate shot back that the generals were defying the democratic will of the people and said protests would go on. But he stopped short of repeating a claim to have won last weekend's election, urging simply a rapid announcement of the result, and praised the army as "patriotic".
In a brusque four-minute statement read on state television as Egyptians returned from weekly prayers - and as the revolutionary bastion of Tahrir was chanting for democracy - the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) made clear it had no plan to heed calls to cancel a decree extending its powers or reverse its dissolution of the new, Islamist-led parliament.
"The issuance of the supplementary constitutional decree was necessitated by the needs of administering the affairs of the state during this critical period in the history of our nation," the off-screen announcer said, in the bureaucratic language favored by the generals who pushed aside brother officer Hosni Mubarak last year to appease the angry millions on the streets.
In what were menacing tones for the army's old adversary the Muslim Brotherhood, SCAF said people were free to protest - but only if they did not disrupt daily life.
At Tahrir, the broad traffic interchange by the Nile in central Cairo was filled with makeshift tents offering shade from the midday sun, hawkers offering an array of goods from tea to "I Love Tahrir Square" T-shirts. Many knelt in prayer during the weekly service. Large groups of pious Islamists were bussed in from the provinces by their parties.
The crowd chanted and waved Egyptian flags.
The deadlock between Egypt's two strongest forces raised grave doubts on the prospects for consensual democracy, though some see possible compromise, if Morsy does become president.
The SCAF statement read: "Anticipating the announcement of the presidential election results before they are announced officially is unjustifiable, and is one of the main causes of division and confusion prevailing the political arena."
It also said the army had no power to repeal the dissolution of parliament, saying that was down to judges who ruled some of January's election rules unconstitutional. Critics say the judges were appointed under Mubarak and are not impartial.