Monday, June 25, 2012
So it is Morsi after all
Morsi's first speech to the Egyptian people (in classical Arabic).
So it was Morsi after all. After all those days that we had been waiting, during which as it seems some wrangling and arms twisting was going on by the army, presumably to get some assurances from the Muslim Brotherhood that they would go along with a number of steps taken by the army, the announcement came as a relieve. Threats by government sources that Shafiq was going to win with 50,7% appeared to have been just that: threats. The horror scenario of a Shafiq win with all that it would have entailed, was staved off. Shafiq who promised to 'restore order within a month' would have been comfortable with the old security and intelligence apparatus that is still largely in place in Egypt. Also Shafiq would have been hands in glove with the military. There could have been a unified, streamlined return to the old days of Mubarak. But that is not what is going to happen. Not that Morsi and the Ikhwan are ideal, but now at least there's some opposition from within to a complete military takeover.
The past week must have been a lesson for many. For days already we knew that Morsi stood at 52%. But apparently the time was needed for some lessons. A lesson for the military about how to deal with a president from the Brotherhood. And vice versa: for the Ikhwan to know how to deal with a presidency without a parliament in a system whereby SCAF has bestowed almost all powers of the state on itself. We don't know the outcome of these deliberations yet. It may be that a deal between Brotherhood and SCAF has been made, it is as well be possible that the Ikhwan will try to make the most from the one influential position that is left to them and will mobilise their followers and seek the confrontation.
One more lesson of the past days during which it became apparent that the military is there to stay a little longer than was hoped for, was for the opposition that is has to unite. Several meetings - with or without the Muslim Brotherhood - were going on in the past days,and it may be hoped that something will result from it. It is probably the only hope for a real process of democratization coming off the ground.