The final result of Egypt's disputed presidential election is set to be announced this weekend, amid reports the ruling military is trying to reach a compromise deal with the Muslim Brotherhood over the outcome.
The Islamist movement says negotiations with the country's generals have been under way for several days.
"We have met with them to discuss how to get out of this crisis after parliament has been dissolved and the new president's powers have been curbed," Khairat al Shater, a senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, was reported as saying.
The talks are taking place against a backdrop of continuing mass protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
They have vowed to continue the demonstrations until their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, is declared the winner of the election.
The protests seem to be a calculated show of strength by the Islamist movement, and a clear warning of the unrest that might follow if his rival, Ahmed Shafiq - Hosni Mubarak's former prime minister - is declared the victor.
Mr Shafiq, 70, the favoured candidate of the military, claims to be ahead in the vote despite the initial count indicating a clear win for Mr Morsi.
The final official result could be declared as early as Saturday night, after days of delays that have fuelled suspicion the military is trying to dictate the future of the country.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is said to be seeking a compromise deal that would see the Muslim Brotherhood take the presidency, while accepting the military's check on their powers.
SCAF has been ruling the country since last year's revolution which ended Mr Mubarak's 30-year rule.
Publicly, the Islamist movement has refused to accept what they have termed an attempted coup by the military but analysts believe both sides want to avoid confrontation and say a deal could be struck.
Whatever the outcome, many in Egypt will be dissatisfied.
Only half of the 50 million voters turned out to cast their ballots in what was seen as a divisive contest between two candidates that represented polar extremes - an Islamist and a member of the old regime.
The process was billed as the country's "first democratic presidential election" but the whole, chaotic process has left people deeply disillusioned.