Friday, 29 June 2012

Egypt: Morsi's victory

The victory of Mohamed Morsi sets up an intriguing power struggle between the Islamists and the army but it will probably create more stability than a Ahmed Shafiq victory. Shafiq promised a return to law and order, and 48% of voters backed this stance, but if he had won, the Islamists would have remained a resentful and dangerous presence on the outside. What have emerged are two formerly secretive organisations, the Muslim Brotherhood and the army, having to manage a power sharing increasingly in the public gaze. What every arrangement emerges on 1 July will be dynamic and will evolve considerably over the coming months.

Much depends on the army, and its own internal dynamics. Many of the senior officers are due to retire. Others may not be so happy to have played the role the army had played in the past 18 months.

Morsi's own position has changed dramatically. Unlike former president Mubarak, who remained head of the ruling National Democratic Party, Morsi has renounced all his party affiliation. This marks his evolution from a radical fighter for a clandestine organisation into a putative world statesman. How much he can achieve will depend on how much power he can wrest back from the army. A former colleague, the defeated independent Islamist Abdul Moneim Abul Fotouh said the new president was “a ghost without the will or authority of a real president.”

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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