• Scaf assume sweeping powers in new constitution
• Polls close late after vote marred by low turnout
• Muslim Brother's Mohamed Morsi takes early lead
• Ex-PM Ahmed Shafiq makes 100 ballot rigging complaints
• Read the latest summary
12.28am: Here's the start of Jack Shenker's take on today's events:
12.14am: It's way past my bedtime so I'll close with a summary of how it looks at this stage:
Egypt's ruling generals have awarded themselves sweeping political powers in an eleventh hour constitutional declaration that ties the hands of the country's incoming president and cements military authority over the post-Mubarak era.
The announcement on Sunday night came as early presidential election results put the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi ahead of his rival Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's final prime minister and an unabashed champion of the old regime. But with thousands of polling stations yet to declare following the two-day run-off vote, the overall winner was still close to call.
Pro-change activists and human rights campaigners said the junta's constitutional declaration – which comes just days after judges extended the army's ability to arrest civilians and following the dissolution of Egypt's Brotherhood-dominated parliament by the country's top court – rendered the scheduled 'handover' of power to a democratically-elected executive 'meaningless'. The Brotherhood were quick to label the declaration 'null and unconstitutional'
, raising the prospect of a dramatic showdown within the highest institutions of the state.
In a final run-off election marked by relentless fear-mongering and negative campaigning
on both sides of the contest, many polling stations remained near-empty for much of the two-day ballot – with potential voters seemingly put off by scorching temperatures, which reached 40C in the capital, and the increasingly oppressive political climate of military-led manipulation and national division that has gripped the country a year and a half after the start of its ongoing revolution.
As ballot counting began inside more than 13,000 schools nationwide, the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party insisted that its candidate, 60 year old engineer Mohamed Morsi, was on course for a clear victory unless state-sponsored electoral fraud dictated otherwise. But local media reports and anecdotal evidence suggested a far closer race, with millions turning out to back Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak's final prime minister and a polarising emblem of the old regime, in a last-ditch effort to prevent political Islamists from taking power.
• The election has been overshadowed by the most blatant power grab to date by Egypt's ruling generals. Under a new constitutional amendments, the military would gain sweeping new powers at the expense of the new president and the now dissolved parliament. They include legislative responsibilities; the power to write the new constitution; powers of arrest; and control over the armed forces and the right to veto wars.
• Mohamed ElBaradei led criticism of the new constitution, describing it as a "grave setback for democracy." Human rights activist Hossam Bahgat, said: "Egypt has completely left the realm of the Arab Spring and entered the realm of military dictatorship."
• The Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohammed Morsi has taken an early lead with up to a quarter of the votes counted. But the campaign of former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq is claiming that he will triumph.
• Shafiq's campaign made more than 100 complaints about ballot rigging by the Muslim Brotherhood. A spokesman said: "The Muslim Brotherhood systematic election violations prove how they do not believe in freedom of choice and democracy unless it brings them to power."
• The level of voting was hit by apathy and a boycott campaign, which will lead to questions of legitimacy for Egypt's next president, whoever he is. Turnout was reported to be between 15% and 40%. Polling was extended by two hours in a bid to boost turnout.
• Robert Becker, one of the foreign NGO workers arrested last year and the only one who refused to leave, warns of increased violence in Egypt if Shafiq wins. Talking on Bloggingheads TV he said: "I fear there is trouble ahead ... If the Islamists [who until now have played by the rules set by the military] wake up on Monday and have nothing - no parliament and no presidency - then I think they will take the fight to the streets."
11.47pm: The reason for the optimism of the Shafiq campaign's optimism is a bit of mystery at this stage.
With more votes counted, Morsi is showing a big lead, according to the latest counts.
Activist Mohamed Ibrahim tweeted:
Cairo based journalist Bel Trew:
Al Hayat have just reported that so far #Morsi is in the lead with 589,588 #Shafik lags with 451,864 #EgyElections #EgyPresident
— Bel Trew -