Egyptian Islamists claim slim lead

Egypt’s Islamists claimed a narrow lead early today in vote-counting for the presidential election but the generals who have run the country since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak issued new rules that made clear real power remains with the army. A decree from the ruling military council, published as the count got under way yesterday, spelled out only limited powers for the new head of state and reclaimed for itself the lawmaking prerogatives held by the Islamist-led parliament which the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolved last week. The Muslim Brotherhood, vowing to reject the moves, said its candidate Mohamed Morsy led former general Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak’s last prime minister, by 51 to 49 per cent, with votes in from a quarter of electoral districts.