News / Africa

Egypt Military Election Stance Could Aggravate Crisis, says Analyst

Protesters wave the Egyptian flag in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, April 8, 2011.Protesters wave the Egyptian flag in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, April 8, 2011.
Protesters wave the Egyptian flag in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, April 8, 2011.
Protesters wave the Egyptian flag in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, April 8, 2011.
Peter Clottey
A Washington-based scholar says Egypt could be plunged into crisis if the military council is seen as pressuring the election commission to declare former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq winner of the presidential run-off vote.
Clottey interview with Prof. Samer Shehata of Georgetown University
Clottey interview with Prof. Samer Shehata of Georgetown Universityi
|| 0:00:00

“If the announcement is that Ahmed Shafiq has won, there could be chaos in Egypt. There would certainly be widespread rejection of the supposed outcome, and there would be continuing demonstrations, and in fact it would get quite ugly,” said Samer Shehata, Assistant Professor of Arab Politics at Georgetown University.

“The majority of people who voted in the election run-off didn’t vote for either of the two candidates. They voted against them because of their polarizing attitude and background,” he said.

Some analysts predict Muslim Brotherhood-backed candidate Mohammed Morsi is likely to win the vote after collating unofficial results across the country.

Observers say over the last several weeks, establishment-backed Ahmed Shafiq appeared to have enjoyed better state media (radio, television and internet) coverage ahead of the vote. But, according to Shehata, the media advantage does not seem to have significantly benefitted him.

“The vote seems to be 900,000 plus in Mohammed Morsi’s favor, so that does not seem to have worked.”

Chancellor Hatem Bagato, Secretary General of Egypt’s Presidential Elections Committee, says the outcome of the election will be announced this weekend. Bagato said parties of both presidential candidates have logged complaints about the conduct of the vote, which he said needs to be resolved before the announcement.

So far, both presidential candidates, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and the establishment-backed Ahmed Shafiq, have both claimed victory.

Shehata said it will be challenging for the winner to unite the country behind him, due to what he said was divisive campaigning ahead of the election.

“Both figures are polarizing…even though most people voted against the [Hosni] Mubarak regime, when they cast their ballot for Mohammed Morsi, they are certainly not supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Muslim Brotherhood’s political philosophy,” said Shehata.

“Whoever the next president is, if it will be Mohammed Morsi, he will be divisive. He has already tried in the statements that he has made to be conciliatory and inclusive and to assuage the fears of many. But he certainly will not be someone who has the ability to unite all of Egypt’s 89 or 90 million behind him.”

Shehata said there’s not likely to be an immediate and dramatic international policy shift if Morsi is declared winner of the vote.

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Comment Sorting
by: A G Sidky from: Cairo
June 22, 2012 1:42 AM
It appears to me that the West is not totally informed of the fraud and intimidation that the Islamists have exercised on the Egyptians for the last 15 months ! Speaking of elections only ( Egyptian Christians were kept hostages in their homes at gun point in upper Egypt in order to prevent them from voting to Shafiq - The Civil Candidate ) Egyptians also turn to the Egyptian army as the only trusted help they can get ! Shafiq is the winner - The army will protect Elections and Egypt against hijacking by Islamists ! Trouble may come but at the end moderates will win ! My advice to the world do not be fooled by the Islamists and do not take sides ! It will fire back on you !

by: xxxxxx from: yyyyyyy
June 21, 2012 11:06 PM
another stupid comment in a series of the kind:

1) There is evidence that over 2 millions faked ballots that went to the moslem brotherhood candidate Mursi

2) The Muslim brotherhood is trying to cover up the incident by claiming that the possible election of Shafiq would be the result of foul play.....

The amount of tactical lies of the moslem brotherhood show that this association was not participating in an honest competition, but rather it was decided to steal the elections. They declared Mursi the winner only a few hours after the closing of the voting offices!!

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