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International
Last Updated: June 18, 2012
Pro-Revolution Ikhwani Er Morsi Wins, Former Regimes' 'Feloul' Gen Shafiq Defeated in Egypt's Historic Presidential Election
By A U Asif

According to reports from international news agencies, Ikhwanul Muslemeen's Al Horreya Wal Adala (Freedom and Justice Party) official candidate Er Mohammed Morsi has finally won in the run-off elections for the post-January 25, 2011 first President in Egypt held on June 16-17, 2012, defeating his rival General Ahmed Shafiq, the last Prime Minister of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The agencies reports are based upon the unofficial results declared by Er Morsi campaign representatives and counting records from all polling stations. However, the final official figures are expected on June 21.

"It's a moment that all the Egyptian people have waited for," said Er Morsi's campaign head Ahmed Abdelati at an earlier press conference in which he confirmed the projected win. Morsi took 13.2 million votes, or 51.8 percent, to Shafiq's 48.1 percent out of 25.5 million votes with more than 99 percent of the more than 13,000 poll centers counted.

There were scenes of jubilation at Er Morsi's headquarters, where the candidate himself thanked Egyptians for their votes in brief remarks. Er Morsi pledged to work to "hand-in-hand with all Egyptians for a better future, freedom, democracy, development and peace." "We are not seeking vengeance or to settle accounts," he said, adding that he would build a "modern, democratic state" for all Egypt's citizens, Muslims and Christians.

"Thank Allah, who successfully led us to this blessed revolution. Thank Allah, who guided the people of Egypt to this correct path, the road of freedom, democracy," the faithful, 60-year-old US-educated engineer declared. He vowed to all Egyptians, "men, women, mothers, sisters ... all political factions, the Muslims, the Christians" to be "a servant for all of them." "We are not about taking revenge or settling scores. We are all brothers of this nation, we own it together, and we are equal in rights and duties." Er Morsi, who just before the two days of voting declared he "loves" the military, did not make show of defiance against the generals.

Still, the Speaker of the Parliament, Saad Al Katatni, who originally belonged to Ikhwan, stood next to him in a sign of the group's insistence the legislature remains in place. Earlier June 17, Katatni met with the deputy head of the military council, Chief of Staff Gen. Sami Anan and told him the group does not recognize the dissolution of Parliament, according to an Ikhwan statement that pointedly referred to Katatni by his title. Katatni insisted the military could not issue an interim Constitution and that the constituent assembly formed last week would meet in the "coming hours" to go ahead with its work in writing the permanent charter. Some in Ikhwan were ready for a challenge. "Down with military rule," the supporters chanted at the headquarters.

The secular revolutionary group April 6, which helped launch the anti-Mubarak uprising, congratulated the Ikhwan on its win. "The next phase is more difficult. We must all unite against the oppressive rule of the military council," its founder Ahmed Maher said. Supporters screamed with excitement, some wiping tears from their eyes. Several hundred held a victory rally in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square after the announcement.

The jubilation at Mr Morsi's headquarters was overshadowed, however, by a looming showdown between the Ikhwan and the ruling military, which issued a new constitutional document shortly after polls closed on June 17. The document issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) grants the body legislative powers after a top court on June 14 ordered the dissolution of the Islamist-dominated Parliament. It also gives SCAF veto power over the text of a new permanent Constitution, and states that no new parliamentary vote will be held until after a permanent Constitution is approved.

The declaration appeared to put the military on a collision course with the Ikhwan, which called the constitutional declaration "null and unconstitutional." The document was issued after a June 14 ruling from the Supreme Constitutional Court, which found a third of the Parliament's members had been elected illegally, effectively ordering the dissolution of the entire Parliament. The declaration confirmed the military was retaking the legislative power it handed the Parliament in January after its election.

"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces shall exercise the powers referred to under the first clause of article 56 (on legislative power)... until the election of a new People's Assembly," the document reads. Such an election cannot be held until a new permanent constitution is written and adopted by a referendum, it adds. The writing of the new constitution will be carried out by a "constitutional commission representing all segments of the society" that will have three months to complete its work, the document says. It also grants SCAF a veto right over any article of a draft constitution it considers "contrary to the supreme interests of the country."

Egypt's Parliament has already appointed a 100-member constituent panel to replace an initial group that was dissolved over allegations it was Islamist-dominated. But the declaration leaves it unclear whether that panel will be able to continue its work, and gives SCAF the right to form a new panel if the current body "is prevented from doing its work." It also stipulates that SCAF "as currently constituted, has the power to decide on all matters related to the armed forces."

The Ikhwan and revolutionary youth movements have denounced the declaration as a "coup" and the Al Horreya Wal Adala said it rejected any bid by the military to retake legislative power. And Parliament Speaker Saad Al Katatni, an Al Horreya Wal Adala member, said the constituent assembly appointed by the Parliament would continue its work. The new political uncertainty comes after an electoral race. The new President inherits a struggling economy, deteriorating security and the challenge of uniting a nation divided by the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak in February 2011.

Whatsoever challenges come in future, it is now a history that on one hand, Ikhwanul Muslemeen that had to faced the military following the overthrow of King Farooq and end of monarchy in 1952 as well as tyranny of the successive regimes of Col Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwer Sadat and Hosni Mubarak and ban imposed upon it since 1954, has now first triumphed in Parliamentary elections held in November 2011-January 2012 capturing half of the seats of the lower house of Parliament and then in Presidential run-off elections held on June 16-17, 2012 getting elected its man as the President of the Republic of Egypt while on the other, General Ahmed Shafiq, a 'feloul' (remnant) of not only Hosni Mubarak but of Anwer Sadat and Col Gamal Abdel Nasser too, has been defeated by the people who brought the historic revolution on January 25, 2011, overthrowing Hosni Mubartak who is serving the life term in Torah prison following a court verdict on June 2 for ordering to kill the pro-revolution people.

The election of Er Morsi as the President is not only the rejection of General Ahmed Shafique but Col Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwer Sadat too. It is to point out that Gen Shafique was the representative of all, Hosni Mubarak, Anwer Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser. That's why during his recent press conference he was assisted by Nasser's daughter on one side and Sadat's wife on the other.

The Arab Spring uprisings have, no doubt, brought greater power to Islamists in the countries where longtime authoritarian leaders were toppled -- but Er Morsi would be the first Islamist President. The Islamist Ennahda party won elections in Tunisia for a national assembly and it leads a coalition government, but the President is a leftist. Libya's leadership remains in confusion and there is no President, though Islamists play a strong role, and an Islamist party is part of the coalition government in Yemen under a President who was once ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh's deputy.

The question now will be how an Ikhwani President will get along with the military generals who have ruled since Mubarak fell on February 11, 2011 and who will still hold powers that can potentially paralyze Morsi. However, it is certain that the Ikhwanis won't go out of control and show tolerance in dealing with the military. They have already dealt with the military since the ousture of Mubarak. They know how to deal with the situation prevaling. It was the Ikhwanis who supported the Referendum ordered by the SCAF last year and resisted the opposition by a number of groups and individuals. Whatsoever journey to democracy Egypt has travelled so far, the credit goes to the tactful Ikhwanis who first faced the Referendum, then parliamentary elections, and now Presidential election.

 


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