Mohamed Morsi, the candidate for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party, has claimed a close victory in Egypt's presidential run-off election.
Celebrations broke out across the capital Cairo when the announcement was finally made following a three-day delay and an hour-long preamble by the head of the electoral commission. The results were as follows:
- Mohamed Morsi - 12.3 million votes (51.73%)
- Ahmed Shafik - 13.2 million votes (48.27%)
In his first televised speech, the 60-year-old US-trained engineer called for national unity, and said he "carries a message of peace" to the world and pledged to preserve Egypt's international accords, a reference to a peace deal with Israel.
He also paid tribute to those who died during last year's uprising:
I wouldn't have been here between your hands as the first elected president without ... the blood, the tears, and sacrifices of the martyrs.
ITV News' International Correspondent John Irvine reports from Tahrir Square in Cairo:
The results had been delayed while authorities investigated hundred of complaints by the candidates about the voting process.
The head of the panel of judges, Farouq Sultan, said that some of the complaints had been upheld but that the result still stood.
Cairo's Tahrir Square erupted into applause following the announcement, although the news will not be greeted with joy in all parts of the world's largest Arab nation.
During the election campaign, Mr Morsi said he would build a government that represents all of Egypt. He also denied accusations that he planned to ban alcohol or the wearing of bikinis.
Many liberal voters are still anxious to see whether he sticks to his word. Egypt's large Christian minority also has concerns about what life will be like under an Islamist government.
Dr Morsi's victory has been hailed around the world as a first step on the transition to democracy.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he "respected" the result and that he expected continued cooperation with its Arab neighbour.
In Gaza City, the capital of the enclave that lies between Israel and Egypt, there were jubilant celebrations in the streets. The head of the Hamas government, Ismail Haniyeh, said he looked forward to Egypt playing a "leading role" in "helping the Palestinian nation get freedom".
The Iranian Foreign Ministry welcomed Morsi's victory stating that Egypt is in the final stage of an "Islamic Awakening".
In the United States, White House spokesman Jay Carney called on Egypt to remain "a pillar of regional peace, security and stability".
The British Foreign Secretary William Hague released the following statement:
– William Hague, Foreign Secretary
This is an historic moment for Egypt. I welcome President Morsi's statement that he intends to form an inclusive government that governs on behalf of all the Egyptian people. It will be important for the new government to stand for national unity and reconciliation, to build bridges across Egyptian society and to uphold human rights, including the rights of women and religious minorities, and the rule of law.