THE WINNER OF Egypt’s contentious presidential election has been announced as Mohammed Morsi.
In a tight result, Morsi, who ran for the Muslim Brotherhood, won 51.7 per cent of the vote, against Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, who got 48 per cent.
More than 26 million people voted in the presidential election, a turnout of 51 per cent.
There was huge scenes of celebration in Tahrir Square where thousands of Mosni’s supporters had gathered to listen as the result was delivered.
AFP reports that some schools and shops closed early as people rushed to get home amid fears of unrest after the result.
The election was a polarising one as voters chose between Shafiq, who was seen as an upholder of Mubarak’s regime, and the Muslim Brotherhood, who had popular support but also raised concerns from some Egyptians that the group focuses too much on bringing religion into public life.
The result of the disputed election was delivered after a speech lasting more than one hour delivered by the head of the presidential elections commission and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Farouq Sultan.
In a meandering speech, Sultan accused the media of deliberately misleading people, and blamed unnamed political factions for lying about the election process.
The result was due to be announced on Thursday but was postponed for three days as the election commission investigated around 400 allegations of voting fraud submitted by both campaigns.
It was the first presidential election since former leader Hosni Mubarak, who held power for 30 years, was overthrown in the Arab Spring uprising in February 2011.
(Supporters of Mohammed Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square after the result is announced. Screengrab via Al Jazeera English)