Monday, 11 June 2012

Egypt: Who will gain most from the Mubarak verdict?

Former president Hosni Mubarak was convicted to life imprisonment for not preventing the killing of more than 800 citizens during the 18 days of protests, but who will gain most from the verdict? The disappointment of many at a verdict that seems once again not to have held to account anyone for the actual killing of more than 840 Egyptians may turn voters out of their armchairs to vote against Ahmed Shafiq for all that he stands for.

That said, his stirring of the fears that his rival would send the country back to the dark ages could equally appeal to those who feel most at risk of discrimination, especially the Christian community. He is appealing to the silent majority; Mohamed Morsi to those who shout out loud.

Egypt is at a critical point in its untidy transition. It still has no agreed constitution for whoever is elected. In the past, it was easy to say that he who was elected took power. So long as the army's intentions remain unclear - possibly even to itself - there is no saying how much power the president will enjoy.

The army has said that it will hand over to an elected president at the end of the month. It has said it will not interfere in the process by which Egyptians elect their new president.

To add to the uncertainty, the courts may disqualify Ahmed Shafiq. Then Egyptians would be faced with a familiar process: an election for president for which there is only one candidate. Not what the revolution was about.

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

© 2012 Menas Associates

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