Results from polling stations across Egypt’s 27 governorates began to roll in late Thursday night and early Friday morning following the country’s most competitive presidential poll in history. Voting confirmed analysts' suspicions that only five of the thirteen candidates face the possibility of advancing into a run-off. Those garnering significant support were the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohamed Morsy, Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, former Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi, and the former head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa.Separately:
12:30 pm: Al-Masry Al-Youm has reported that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy is heading the race after vote counting ended in 20 out of 27 of Egypt's governorates, followed by Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq.
In the 20 governorates — Daqahliya, Beheira, Gharbiya, Minya, Assuit, Kafr al-Sheikh, Qena, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Aswan, Damietta, Ismailia, Luxor, Port Said, Suez, Red Sea, North Sinai, South Sinai, Marsa Matrouh, and the New Valley — Morsy has 28 percent and Shafiq 21 percent.
Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi is third with 20 percent of the votes, followed by former Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh with 19 percent and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa with 12 percent.
A Brotherhood official said that with votes counted from about 12,800 of the roughly 13,100 polling stations, Morsy had 25 percent, Shafiq 23 percent, a rival Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh 20 percent and leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi 19 percent.
Given that Fotouh, in third place, is a former Muslim Brotherhood leader, chances are most of his votes - including most of the Salafi vote - would go to Morsi (even though he did garner some support from secularists.) Shafiq is being reviled by the Islamists as being from the "remnants" of the Mubarak regime. It is unclear how the supporters of Sabbahi would vote.
What kind of president would Morsi be?
Calling himself the only authentic Islamist in the race, Mursi has targeted devout voters whose support helped the Brotherhood and the ultra-orthodox Salafi Islamist movement to secure 70 percent of parliament seats earlier this year.
He has promised to implement Islamic sharia during rallies peppered with references to the Koran, God and the Prophet Mohammad and occasionally interrupted by pauses for mass prayer.
Morsy has called for a review of Cairo's 1979 peace treaty with Israel, saying Egypt's neighbour has not respected the agreement, a line mirroring that of most of the other candidates in the race. The group has said it will not tear up the deal.
"We will take a serious step towards a better future, God willing," Morsy said at his final campaign rally on Sunday, promising to combat any corrupt hangers-on from Mubarak's era.
"If they take a step to take us backwards, to forge the will (of the people) and fiddle with security, we know who they are," he said. "We will throw them in the rubbish bin of history."
"It was for the sake of the Islamic Sharia that men were ... thrown into prison. Their blood and existence rests on our shoulders now," Morsy said during one campaign rally.
"We will work together to realise their dream of implementing sharia," said the Brotherhood contender, who himself spent time in jail under Mubarak.