Egyptian election officials count votes in Cairo on May 24, 2012. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming to have taken an early lead., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Brotherhood claims early lead in Egypt presidential polls
Fri May 25, 2012 2:7AM GMT
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has claimed early lead in Egypt’s historical presidential elections as the counting process is underway following the second and final day of the polls.
The party says that according to exit polls, its candidate Mohammed Mursi is leading the race, which finished on Friday, the Associated Press reported.
The elections marked Egypt’s first free presidential polls since dictator Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular revolution last year.
Earlier in the day, results from about five percent of the polling stations emerged, putting Mursi on top at 35 percent.
He was followed by Mubarak’s last Premier Ahmed Shafiq with 22 percent and independent Islamic candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh with 16 percent.
Official results are not expected in full until next Tuesday.
Mursi has also swept the country's expatriate vote, securing 40 percent of the ballots cast by the Egyptians residing abroad.
The race is expected to go into a run-off between two of the hopefuls on June 16 and 17 if no candidate manages to get more than 50 percent of the votes.
50 million people were eligible to cast their ballots in the elections.