Mohamed Mursi. Picture: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

Cairo: The Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday its candidate was leading the count in Egypt’s first free presidential election that exposed a rift between supporters of Islamists and backers of men who served deposed autocrat, Hosni Mubarak.

The Brotherhood said Mohamed Mursi was ahead based on a small sample of results of the election which ended yesterday.

None of the 12 candidates in the race is expected to secure the more than 50 percent of votes cast to win outright. So Egypt’s voters are likely to go back to the polls for a run-off between the top two on June 16 and 17.

If Mursi makes it to the second round and goes on to win a run-off, it will put Islamists in a commanding position. – Reuters