The generals who took power after the February fall of Hosni Mubarak have said they will name the government and the parliament would have no right to dissolve it. They have also sought to wrest from the new parliament the more long-reaching and crucial role of running the process for writing the new constitution.
But the Brotherhood’s confidence was riding high after the unexpectedly large turnout this week for two days of voting. Millions lined up at the polls for the first of multiple rounds of balloting in their country’s first free election in living memory. Even before polls closed on Tuesday, Mohammed Mursi, head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, told reporters outside a polling center in Cairo that the majority in parliament must put together the government, which he said should be a coalition of the main parties.
Another top Brotherhood figure, Sobhi Saleh, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Mursi’s comments were a message to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces not to act unilaterally. “You can’t come and say, ‘I choose the government and I sack the government.’ Its over, the people have emerged,” he said. “If you impose a government on me that I don’t endorse, you are creating tension in the relationship.”
The high turnout, he said, shows that Egyptians want a fully empowered parliament and that “you, yourself, are subject to the people’s authority,” referring to the generals. Final results from the round, which covered nine of Egypt’s 27 provinces, will be issued Thursday night. The Brotherhood appeared convinced it surpassed already high expectations. Saleh, for example, boasted the group won 50 percent.