Results released by the Muslim Brotherhood suggest an Islamist and a former military man will go head to head in a run-off in Egypt’s first free presidential elections. Official results are not expected until Tuesday 29 May.
Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi is said to be in first place, despite being mocked for lacking charisma.
Mursi joined the race late on after the initial Muslim Brotherhood candidate Abol Fatouh decided to run as a moderate.
Mursi has a doctorate from the US and spent time in jail during the ousted Hosni Mubarak’s presidency.
Although Mursi’s been promoting a “centrist understanding” of Islam, he has promised to introduce sharia law – which has worried secularists and Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority.
It is claimed he will be joined in the run-off next month by Ahmed Shafiq, the former air force chief.
Shafiq appeals more to moderates and the Coptic Christians because of his secularist approach.
However, he is disliked by some for his ties to the former regime. He served as the last prime minister under Hosni Mubarak. Shafiq later made an apology for the violence in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the revolution.
Some feel Shafiq willl ensure law and order, and he is drawing on his experience within the military to boost his credentials for the top job.