It was a watershed moment in Egypt’s transition to democracy when the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) announced that Mohamed Morsi was elected as the fifth president of the Republic of Egypt since its establishment in 1952. President Morsi came to occupy the post that, for the first time in Egypt’s modern history, had been vacant for 16 months. Since the ousting of Mubarak on February 11, 2011, filling the post of the presidency has been thought of as one the pillars of Egyptian stability and required for a successful move to democracy. Morsi won the presidency following a competitive runoff election, in the end receiving 51.7 percent of those who turned out in long lines to cast their ballots, defeating Ahmed Shafiq, a hardliner with a military background and the last prime minister during Mubarak’s era. The presidential election was not a normal one; instead it was a harsh battle and has many implications for the future of Egyptian politics. Pushing Egyptians to choose between two extremes in the runoff, delaying the official announcement of the winner for three days, and the rumors of behind the scene deals between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) are but some of controversial events of the election. This paper will describe the electoral process, analyze the results and voting behavior, and examine the implications for Egypt’s political future.
Egypt after Elections: Towards the Second Republic?
While Mohamed Morsi was being named as the fifth president of the Republic of Egypt and the first person to occupy the post since the January 25 revolution, a harsh battle was going on among different political actors to decide the political future of the nation. Elected on the basis of a complementary constitution created solely by a military that had grabbed power over a wide range of political and security issues, Morsi is torn now between both the constitutional and the revolutionary legitimacies and as a result he needs to make compromises to satisfy all actors. Will he be able to do so? Can he harness the military, the intelligence, the presidency, and other deep institutions in a country where his political affiliation was for six decades considered illegal? Will Morsi meet regular Egyptians? high expectations in the political, economic, and social spheres? These questions will be examined in this paper as part of an analysis of the implication of latest the presidential election in Egypt.
A supporter of Egypt’s first Islamist President Mohamed Mursi cheers with a effigy of Mursi during a rally at Tahrir Square in Cairo.
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