On balance, Morsi's victory is the better outcome. It creates the possibility of continued bargaining between the army and the Brotherhood, whose well-organised rank and file remain ready to take to the streets to maintain pressure on the generals. A Shafiq win would have immediately reignited protests and made it easier for the army to crack down in the name of stability.
Morsi's biggest challenges start now. Will he stand up to the army? His claim to represent "all Egyptians" will be tested by how he reaches out to the liberal and independent candidates who fell away in the first presidential round.
Who will he choose as a prime minister? A non-Brotherhood figure – Mohamed ElBaradei is being mooted – could signal pluralism and help deflect heat on the economy. Nervous Copts and women will need reassuring. Not everyone believes the Brotherhood's newfound spirit of inclusiveness: after all, it backed Scaf's transition plan for most of last year and then reneged on its own promises not to field too many candidates for parliament or any for the presidency.
Morsi's victory is not the end of Egypt's turbulent post-revolutionary game. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning."In a curious twist of recent days, Shafiq supporters accused the US of quietly encouraging a Morsi win – as a way of cementing the dominance of Scaf and securing the strategically important peace treaty with Israel.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 4:09 AM