June 22 - Egypt's ruling military council condemns presidential candidates' premature claims of victory as thousands gather for Friday prayers in Tahrir. Sunita Rappai reports.
Thousands of mainly Islamist protesters defy blistering temperatures to gather for weekly prayers in Tahrir - as Egypt's military rulers blame presidential candidates for sowing discord and confusion. In a strongly worded televison statement, SCAF - the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces - said that premature claims of victory by the candidates were unjustifiable, and had increased division and confusion. Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy announced victory within hours of polling ending on Sunday while rival Ahmed Shafik today said he was confident he had won. The army also rejected calls to rescind last week's dissolution of parliament and an order giving itself more power. It said those moves were for the good of the country - but many here in Tahrir fear the army is clinging on to power. This Islamist MP says that SCAF's days are numbered and their decisions void - and that Morsy would be sworn in as president. Sources in the electoral commission say that preliminary results favoured Morsy but officials are now bogged down in hundreds of complaints and appeals. They say a final result on Sunday is now likely - but not certain. Sunita Rappai Reuters