The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for Egyptian president, Mohammed Mursi, is likely to face former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in a run-off vote, according to partial election results. More than 11,000 out of 13,000 polling stations have declared results, in the first election since strongman Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year. Early counts put Mr Mursi on about 26% and Mr Shafiq at roughly 24%. Partial results are subject to recounts and final results are due on 29 May. The nationalist Hamdin Sabbahi, a fiery opponent of the Mubarak regime who became the choice of many of those supporting the revolution, appears to be in third place. He has taken a big lead in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city, the city’s electoral authorities have announced. Campaigners for Islamist candidate Mr Mursi, standing for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, told reporters they were confident that he had won the most votes.
Many Egyptians stayed up for much of the night watching live coverage of election results. Private television channels have aired special shows broadcasting election commissioners making results and reports from counts. Initial results suggest a deeply polarised country. The general expectation is for a run-off between the powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi and Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister of ousted president Hosni Mubarak. In simple terms that would pitch the old regime against its old adversary.
But it has been a very disappointing night for the former Arab League head, Amr Moussa. Some of his associates had prematurely begun to call him “Mr President”. “I think we are on the verge of a new era. We trusted God, we trusted in the people, we trusted in our party,” prominent Brotherhood figure Essam el-Erian told a news conference late on Thursday. Mr Mursi represents a popular strand of political Islam that was excluded from the political process for many years under Mr Mubarak. Partial counts suggested Mr Shafiq would be Mr Mursi’s rival in a run-off. The two candidates are seen as representing very different strands of Egyptian society.
Full Article: BBC News – Egypt election: Rivals claim run-off places.