Egypt election: Divisive run-off fight ahead

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Egypt election: Divisive run-off fight ahead

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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has begun courting some of the candidates knocked out during this week’s first round presidential elections.

With most of the votes counted, the Islamist group claims its candidate Mohamed Mursi has topped the polls.

The Muslim Brotherhood is keen to secure a strong vice president and a future coalition government framework before the run-off election next month.

“Dr Mursi has started discussions with a number of nationalistic candidates, heads of parties and national figures,” said Essam el-Erian, senior member of Muslim Brotherhood.

“We called them in order to achieve our first goal, to work together to save the nation and reach the revolution’s objectives, in order to be loyal to the blood of the martyrs and the wounds of those injured,” he added.

An uprising across Egypt began 15 months ago and saw President Hosni Murbarak swept from power to be replaced by a ruling military council.

His former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, who appears to have come second in the first round, is set to face off against Mursi in the presidential runoff on June 16 and 17.

The election has split Egyptians between those who oppose an effective return to the Mubarak era and those who fear an Islamist-led government.

Official results from the election first round are due by Tuesday.