Some call it a military coup, others call it the death of the Arab Spring but however you want to label it, the sweeping new constitutional powers obtained by Egypt's ruling military is a troubling development. On Monday, as Reuters' Marwa Awad and Yasmine Saleh report, both candidates in Egypt's presidential runoff claimed victory as election officials withheld official polling results. The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsey claims he won by two to four points while former Hosni Mubarak operative Ahmed Shafik claimed he was actually in the lead. There's no saying what will happen next but observers and reporters fear the worst. What could this power grab mean? Some scenarios:
Egypt's military is more powerful than ever. The BBC's Jon Leyne reports that the newfound powers of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (Scarf) give the regime unprecedented control of Egyptian society. "The constitutional declaration issued by the Scaf effectively gives it legislative powers, control over the budget and over who writes the permanent constitution following mass street protests that toppled Mr Mubarak... It also strips the president of any authority over the army." Former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi said the declaration was a "seizure of the future of Egypt," adding "We will not accept domination by any party." While the military has promised to transfer power to a candidate by June, The Associated Press' Hamza Hendawi reports, nobody's confident that will actually happen.