While writing this post, Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, has won the Egyptian presidential elections by a slim margin, according to the last vote tally. However, Shafiq’s campaign continue to insist that his candidate is the winner. Here there are a few quick thoughts on the elections:
-A country divided: The fact that the result is so close shows that the country is highly divided and polarised. Finally, it seems the turnout was higher than in the first round, which means that the “vote of fear” was strong. This time journalists got it right: Egypt is deeply polarised.
-A weak presidency: Counting the spoiled ballots, Morsi’s votes are under the thresold of 50%, which means that his legitimacy will be weak. In addition, we must take into account that many people just voted against Shafiq and the old regime, not really for Morsi. On the top of that, after the “complemetary declaration” of the SCAF, which deprives the presidency of many powers, the next president will be really weak.
-A coup d’Etat: The SCAF waited until the polls closed to issue their “complementary declaration”, which specifies the distribution of powers between the future president and the Military Junta. The declaration plus the dissolution of the Parliament ordered by the Constitutional Court amounts to a coup d’Etat in two stages. SCAF’s intention to write unilaterally the next Constitution is especially worrying.
-A dogfight between the MB and the SCAF: With the last developments, we are about to see a direct confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the army, the two most powerful institutions in Egypt which have been waging an old battle for the control of the country. The big question is: will they go until the end, or will they stop on the brink of the abyss? Can someone else (the US) prevent the political confrontation to turn violent?