Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has achieved the goal set at its foundation 84 years ago. Its candidate Mohammed Morsi was declared Sunday afternoon, June 24, victor of last week’s presidential election runoff with 51.73 percent, beating his rival, Ahmed Shafiq, former prime minister under the ousted Hosni Mubarak. Brotherhood supporters massed in tens of thousands at Tahrir Square set up a great cheer. Before the results were announced, they called for the Supreme Military Council ruling Egypt in the interim to step down and are now preparing to fight the generals to win for their president the sweeping powers assumed by the generals ahead of the election.
Although elected more or less democratically, Morsi and his party are expected to turn the Egyptian revolution into the cornerstone of an Islamic state more closely akin to the Islamic Republic of Iran than the democratic, secular state envisioned by the revolutionaries when they fought for Mubarak’s overthrow.
In time, Israeli will discover its three-decade old peace pact with Egypt is also destined to go by the board as the Islamist majority in parliament gives Egypt a new constitution broadly based on the Sharia.
The military council, though widely charged with usurping power, proved helpless against the Islamic tide which polarized rather than sweeping the country. The close election results showed Egypt to be deeply split into at least two large camps and this bodes ill for its future stability.
The generals will have no choice but to come to terms with the Muslim Brotherhood. But any deal they reach will be short-lived because the Islamists have the legislative power to enact laws for stripping the military elite of its privileges. Some of the generals may choose to retire rather than support the Brotherhood.
The first to read the writing on the wall was Mubarak’s former intelligence chief, Gen. Omar Suleiman, who dropped out of the presidential race at an early stage. The last DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources disclosed that Suleiman had boarded a flight to Munich, Germany last Wednesday, June 20. He was quick to foresee that the Muslim Brotherhood, backed by the Obama administration, was heading for rule over Egypt.
Having devoted much of his career to putting Muslim Brotherhood activists behind bars, Suleiman knew that he could expect nothing more under the new regime than the fate of his old boss, Hosni Mubarak, namely, a slow, cruel death in prison.
In another part of Cairo, supporters of Ahmed Shafiq demonstrated waited out the results by protesting against “foreign intervention” in Egypt’s democratic process. They accused the US of tilting the election against their candidate. Disgruntled pro-democracy secular activists stood quietly in Cairo’s emblematic square in mourning for the revolution they lost.