Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm has reported that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi has won Egypt’s presidential elections. According to their figures, Morsi showed strongly in Upper Egypt, whereas Ahmed Shafik gained more votes in Lower Egypt but Morsi gained 51.13 percent of the vote overall. Semi-official newspaper al-Ahram reports that with just Cairo’s results to come in Morsi is leading by a fraction. Although they predict a victory for Shafik in Cairo, they still give Morsi the lead. The following is al-Ahram’s overview for all Egyptian governorates with the exception of Cairo. They state that turnout stands at 49.5 per cent compared to 46.4 per cent in the first round.
Yet Issandr el Amrani sounds a note of caution on his blog The Arabist. According to him, “The Presidential Election Commission says it will not give the final results until Wednesday or Thursday and there is likely to be some contestation by both sides, and perhaps even partial recounts. “ He also points out that the figures so far only give Morsi a slim lead, with many votes still to be counted.
While the official announcement is yet to come a constitutional declaration made by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Sunday night, along with the dissolving of parliament last week, means the powers of the president and the Brotherhood are now restricted. The full implications of the SCAF’s action will become clear in the next days and weeks and stern rhetoric is being traded back and forth between the SCAF and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Even if Morsi is the official winner, he will be in a highly precarious position as the SCAF will seek to make him a scapegoat for any failures in the political process. He will also still lack credibility; as one Twitter user wrote “Just so you remember, whoever wins didn’t really win, the other candidate lost. #Egypt“. Morsi’s only hope would be to rely on the rhetoric of supporting the revolution against military rule and that the revolutionaries can forgive the Brotherhood’s earlier alliance with the SCAF against the protests.
One thing alone is clear; the completion of the presidential election does not signal the shift to political stability that many had hoped for, nor an end to the transition. The political game has simply taken another turn into the unknown because the implications of the constitutional declaration are yet to be really felt and the process for new parliamentary elections is still unclear. The political climate will continue to shift and the fate of the constitution and the prospects for a peaceful transition hang in the balance.