A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Morsi Wins: Was There a Deal? Now What?

After the postponement from Thursday, after all the rumors and speculation, and after Presidential Election Commission Chairman Farouq Sultan's hour-long prologue to the final result (sparking jokes he was planning to read each of the 26 million votes one by one), Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood becomes the fifth President of Egypt, and its first civilian.

The results appear extremely close to those released almost a week ago by the Brotherhood. So why the delay? (I know, that's supposedly what Sultan was explaining at such excruciating length.)

And were the rumors of difficult negotiations between the MB and SCAF true? If so, we may expect to see a rather limited Presidency, with SCAF looking over his shoulder, and perhaps with new elections once a constitution is written. Will a new Parliament be elected to replace the one recently dissolved? Or will the constitution come first? (Until now Morsi has insisted Parliament still exists. But he will have to take his oath and will be required to support the constitutional declaration.) Will Morsi be a toothless President, or one who challenges SCAF?  And of course, will the Brotherhood really work with other parties? It has alienated some of its original support through its attempts to control the process.

What about Ahmad Shafiq and his supporters? They represent a significant force, and many of those who voted for Morsi saw him as a lesser evil.

SCAF is supposed to hand over power in a week. How much power will Morsi have? That's the next big question awaiting an answer.


1 comment:

David Mack said...

Someone is giving Morsi very good image advice. With a jacket and necktie he does not look the least bit threatening. In fact, he looks the antithesis of another Egyptian Islamist, Ayman Az-Zawahiri. And when was the last time you saw an Iranian leader with a necktie? The Islamist that Morsi looks like is Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan! That should be reassuring to the IMF and the international business community, even if Egyptian businessmen and generals are still suspicious.