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Ear to the Ground

Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi Wins Egyptian Election

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Posted on Jun 24, 2012

After taking numerous steps to secure their own base of power, Egypt’s military leaders gave their blessing, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi on Sunday was declared winner of the country’s presidential elections.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces had surely hoped for Morsi’s opponent, Ahmed Shafiq of the former regime, to prevail. Both candidates declared victory after a runoff election last week. Perhaps the SCAF yielded to the pressure of tens of thousands of protesters gathering at the Brotherhood’s invitation in Tahrir Square.

Although those protesters cheered the announcement that their man will take power, they have much more demonstrating to do if they hope to rehabilitate Egypt’s nascent democracy from the SCAF’s recent machinations. Here is a brief summary from The New York Times:

With just two weeks to go until their promised exit from power by June 30, the generals instead shut down the democratically elected and Islamist-led Parliament; took over its powers to make laws and set budgets; decreed an interim constitution stripping the new president of most of his power; and re-imposed martial law by authorizing soldiers to arrest civilians. And the general gave themselves an effective veto over provisions of a planned permanent constitution as well.

As recently as this morning the capital was tense with fears that the panel of Mubarak-appointed judges overseeing the vote would declare Mr. Shafik president, completing a full military coup. Banks, schools and government offices closed early for fear of violence in the streets.

The generals came to their senses, at least for now. And so, as the Times puts it: “After 84 years as an often outlawed secret society struggling in the prisons and shadows of monarchs and dictators, the Brotherhood is now closer than ever to its stated goal of building an Islamist democracy in Egypt.”

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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