Authors: Carmen Cox
(CAIRO) -- Egypt is coming closer to seeing a new democratically elected government. After two days of polling, the polling stations are closed and election officials have started to count votes to see who will be the nation's first president elected by its people.
Voter turnout Wednesday appeared lower than in the first post-Mubarak parliamentary poll held late last year. Voting in both urban and rural areas seemed split between five leading contenders, but no reliable pattern pointed to a winner as of early Thursday. Still, based on its own estimates, the Muslim Brotherhood asserted that its own candidate, Mohammed Mursi, was in the lead ahead of 12 others competing for the presidency, BBC News reports.
Generally, election spectators have expressed satisfaction with the voting process. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday spoke to the significance of the Egypt's elections, which she said marked "another important milestone in their transition to democracy."
"We look forward to working with Egypt's democratically elected government," Clinton said in a statement Thursday. "We will continue to stand with the Egyptian people as they work to seize the promise of last year's uprising and build a democracy that reflects their values and traditions, respects universal human rights, and meets their aspirations for dignity and a better life."
The election's results are set to be announced Tuesday, but some individual polling stations are expected to announce results by Friday morning.
A run-off vote is scheduled for June 16 and 17 if no candidate manages to get more than 50 percent of the votes.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio