The Brotherhood Takes Egypt’s Presidency

My piece on the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in Egypt’s first post revolution presidential election, published on over at New Matilda.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamad Morsy may not be the ideal revolutionary president, but he’s not military or a Mubarak crony, and that counts for something.

 

Hold your nose and cheer. Egypt’s revolution has prevailed — sort of.

After tense days of delay, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsy, was announced as the official winner. Tahrir Square, already host to throngs of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, erupted with the news of the announcement. Fireworks were let off and chants of “God is Great” and “long live Egypt” resonated throughout the square and many of Cairo’s suburbs.

The party in Tahrir raged into the night, with some voices from within the Brotherhood threatening to keep up their mobilisation should the SCAF not backtrack on its pre-announcement power grab.

Morsy’s first speech as president, however, consisted mainly of boilerplate talk of building a brighter future together, Egypt being “one big family” and a series of reassurances. First he restated his admiration for the armed forces, aiming to cool fears of an Islamist-military confrontation, or even civil war, like that of Algeria or Sudan.

Next he restated his loyalty to the martyrs, and those injured in the revolution, promising to honour their memory by continuing the goals of the revolution. He promised to move towards a modern democratic state and be a president for “all Egyptians”.

To allay fears about minority mistreatment at the hands of an Islamist government, Morsy stated all would be equal before the law. He stressed his peacefulness, and Egypt’s continuing commitment to all international agreements (a reassurance about peace with Israel).

Bearded and bespectacled, the middle aged Morsy presents more like a headmaster than a warrior chief. While Egypt is in desperate need of a President with solid administrative capacity, without there first being a major cleansing to root out widespread clientism and corruption administration may prove difficult. It is unclear whether the Brotherhood has either the inclination or capacity to do so…

Read the rest here.

About Austin G. Mackell

I am a freelance journalist who has worked for a variety of corporate and community outlets from my hometown of Sydney and from the Middle East, including from Lebanon during Israels 2006 invasion and from Iran during the tumultuous presidential elections there in 2009. I have recently moved to Cairo to watch the revolutions in Arab world unfold.
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