CAIRO (Reuters) – Allegations of fraud delayed the result of Egypt’s presidential election on Thursday, fraying nerves as the Muslim Brotherhood, which claims victory, threatened to take to the streets in protest at moves by the ruling generals to deny them power.
For a second night, thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, cauldron of the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak 16 months ago, to demand the officers who pushed him aside keep their word and hand over to civilians by July 1.
But with little sign that will happen, after the ruling military council dissolved the Islamist-led parliament and set strict limits on the new president’s powers, prominent Islamists also sought to dampen talk of violence, for all their promise of permanent vigils on town squares until their demands are met.
Cairo’s cafes and social media were alive with chatter about troops preparing to secure major cities, but military sources denied any unusual activity beyond an alertness in case of trouble from supporters of whichever side loses the election.
Adding to a sense of unease, Mubarak was himself back in the news. He was let out of the prison, where he began a life sentence this month, for treatment at a military hospital where the 84-year-old was said by security sources to be slipping in and out of a coma but “stabilising.” Many Egyptians suspect fellow generals of exaggerating to get their old comrade out of jail. Read more…