05/25/2012, 00.00
EGYPT
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Counting begins in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood already talk of victory

Justice and Freedom Party candidate Morsi reported to lead presidential race with 236 seats out of 13 thousand. The electoral commission has yet to release projection. The results will be released May 29.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - As of  8 pm last night the vote count in Egypt's presidential elections has begun. The final results will be announced on 29 May. As happened in the parliamentary voting, the Muslim Brotherhood has already announced it is in the lead. According to sources in the Islamic movement, Mohammed Morsi, Justice and Freedom Party candidate is leading in 236 seats out of 13 thousand. The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's first political party and dominate the parliament along with the Salafists. They are hoping for a victory in the presidential race that would consecrate the movement after 40 years of being forced underground.

Essam al-Erian, vice president of the party is confident of victory. "As per preliminary information - he says - our candidate is ahead." However, the electoral commission has yet to release any projections. Morsi's challengers are Amr Moussa, former secretary general of the Arab League and Foreign Minister under Mubarak, Abdul Fotouh, but detached from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

According to local international observers, the vote was conducted properly, despite some controversy over the Islamists' campaign which lasted beyond the time prescribed by law. The turnout at the polls was stable at around 55%. If no candidate reaches the majority of votes, the ballots will be held on 15 and 16 June.

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