(Reuters) - When he joined the race for Egypt's presidency just five weeks ago, Mohamed Morsy was mocked as the Muslim Brotherhood's uncharismatic "spare tyre" after its first-choice candidate was disqualified.
But the 60-year-old engineer came first in the opening round, according to a Brotherhood tally after most votes were counted, thanks to a campaign that showed off the unequalled political muscle of Egypt's oldest Islamist movement.
The run-off on June 16 and 17 with second-placed Ahmed Shafiq, who served as deposed leader Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, gives Egyptians a stark choice between a military man linked to the past and an Islamist whose conservative message appeals to some and alarms others in this nation of 82 million.
A Brotherhood official said that with votes counted from about 12,800 of the roughly 13,100 polling stations, Morsy had 25 percent, Shafiq 23 percent, a rival Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh 20 percent and leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi 19 percent.
Calling himself the only authentic Islamist in the race, Mursi has targeted devout voters whose support helped the Brotherhood and the ultra-orthodox Salafi Islamist movement to secure 70 percent of parliament seats earlier this year.
He has promised to implement Islamic sharia during rallies peppered with references to the Koran, God and the Prophet Mohammad and occasionally interrupted by pauses for mass prayer continue reading
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