In a blow to Egypt's old guard, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi was declared the winner of the nation's first democratic presidential elections.
The country's election commission made the announcement Sunday, after delaying the result for several days while it waded through hundreds of complaints from both sides of the race.
The election was a nail-biter, with Morsi winning 51.7% of the vote compared to 48.3% for Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
The widely anticipated announcement comes as many analysts air concerns over the stability of Egypt's fragile experiment in democracy. Mubarak was ousted last year during the ground-shifting protests of the Arab Spring, and Mubarak, who is reportedly in extremely poor health, has since been convicted of culpability in the slaughter of pro-democracy demonstrators.
But since Mubarak's ouster, Egyptian's transition to democracy has been troubled at best. Earlier this month, an Egyptian court packed with Mubarak-era judges dissolved the country's first freely elected parliament, which was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Tthe country's interim military leaders granted themselves sweeping new powers to draft Egypt's new constitution.
President-elect Morsi has said he stands for democracy, women's rights and peaceful relations with Israel. But in the past, he's also said he's in favor of prohibiting women from becoming president and has called Israeli leaders "vampires."
Under Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned.
NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, live from Tahrir Square, described the scene as "great euphoria" as thousands of people erupted into cheers as the announcement was made.
He told MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry that the results were a "defining moment" for the first Islamist president in a country previously dominated by secular, authoritarian and military rule.
"To what extent will Egypt now take a turn for a different tone, in terms of its legislation, in terms of its outlook to the world, in terms of its foreign policy" is yet to be seen, said Mohyeldin.
He said the big question now is also how the Muslim Brotherhood will interpret their victory and if they were reclaim power that was recently stripped away from them, including oversight of the national budget, the ability to declare war and to legislate.