The Muslim Brotherhood has declared that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election.
"Mohamed Morsi is the first popularly elected civilian president of Egypt," Reuters quoted the official website of Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party as announcing.
It said Morsi -- a US-educated engineer -- won 52.5 percent of votes while Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, secured 47.5 percent, Morsi campaign official Ahmed Abdel Atti reportedly told a news conference at the Brotherhood's party headquarters in Cairo, adding that they were relying on a count of 98 percent of votes.
If confirmed, it would be the first victory of an Islamist as head of state after the Arab Spring wave of protests in the Middle East and North Africa over the past year, the Associated Press reported.
However, before final count could be assessed -- and with parliament dissolved and martial law effectively in force -- the generals who have run the country since the overthrow of Mubarak issued new rules that according to Reuters made clear real power remains with the army.
GlobalPost in Cairo: Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi claims presidency as generals consolidate power
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued a decree granting itself broad power over the future government, diminishing the authority of the president and seizing control of the process of writing a permanent constitution, The New York Times reported.
The move is the latest in a series of steps that the military has taken recently to hold on power they had promised to hand over to elected civilians, the Times wrote.
The decree has painted as a blow to democracy by many of the same protesters against Mubarak's 30-year rule who aired their grievances on social media.
NBC cited a post on a Facebook page used during the Arab Spring uprising to mock the military council's declaration: "It means the president is elected but has no power."
"Grave setback for democracy and revolution," tweeted former UN diplomat and Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, according to NBC.
"SCAF retains legislative power, strips president of any authority over army and solidifies its control," he said.
The Brotherhood, meantime, has challenged the military's power grab, saying Sunday that it did not recognize wither the dissolution of parliament or the military's interim constitution — or its declared right to oversee the drafting of a new one.
Morsi, in a victory speech at his campaign headquarters, promised to be president for all Egyptians and said he would not "seek revenge or settle scores."
Rather, 60-year-old said, he would strive for "stability, love and brotherhood for the Egyptian civil, national, democratic, constitutional and modern state."
He made no mention of Islamic law, but said: "Thank God who led successfully us to this blessed revolution. Thank God who guided the people of Egypt to this correct path, the road of freedom, democracy"
He vowed to all Egyptians, "men, women, mothers, sisters, laborers, students ... all political factions, the Muslims, the Christians" to be "a servant for all of them."
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