Egypt’s ultra-conservative Salafist Al-Nur Party has announced it will back the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi in a presidential election runoff against ex-premier Ahmed Shafiq.
“The High Committee of the Al-Nur Party supports Dr. Mohammed Mursi for president of the republic in the runoff,” the party said on its official Twitter account.
The official results of Egypt’s first presidential election since the 2011 uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak have yet to be made public. Egypt’s electoral commission was expected to announce them later on Monday.
Unofficial results announced by the Brotherhood and multiple local media outlets showed Mursi set for a second-round run-off with Shafiq, after neither gained more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.
But the head of the electoral commission, Hatem Bagato cautioned on Sunday night that “the results announced so far are only indications.”
“The commission is in the process of examining appeals (about irregularities) and these appeals could change certain results,” Bagato told private television station Al-Nahar.
The Al-Nur Party had backed moderate Islamist and ex-Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh in the presidential race after their candidate Hazem Abu Ismail was disqualified from standing.
Both Mursi and Shafiq have already been reaching out to their former rivals in a bid to assemble a coalition of support for the second round.
So far, none of their major rivals, including Abul Fotouh, third-placed Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi or former foreign minister Amr Moussa, have publicly backed either frontrunner.