Muslim Brotherhood-Backed Candidate Wins Egyptian Presidential Election
After a rather long and drawn-out speech about the circumstances surrounding the Egyptian election process, Farouq Sultan, the head of the election commission, announced that the next president of Egypt will be Mohammed Morsi, the candidate put forth by the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi defeated Ahmed Shafiq, the country’s prime minister under former president Hosni Mubarak, in a runoff election last weekend.
Crowds were gathered in Tahrir Square to watch the announcement live. Morsi took 51 percent of the vote to Shafiq’s 48 percent, and The New York Times details the circumstances surrounding Morsi’s victory and what it will mean for the future of the country.
Before the results were announced, the capital was as tense Sunday as on any day since the two and a half week revolt that brought down Mr. Mubarak. Army tanks and soldiers were deployed around the election commission, the Parliament and other institutions to prepare for possible violence. Foreign embassies warned their citizens to stay away from downtown. Banks, government offices and schools all closed early to allow students and employees to get off the streets.
In Tahrir Square, at least, the confirmation of Mr. Morsi’s win is expected to bring celebrations instead of clashes. His designation as president-elect will hand the Brotherhood and its allies a bully pulpit to use the struggle for power with the military. The Brotherhood has sought to rebuild the partnership with more secular and liberal advocates of democracy that came together in the uprising against Mr. Mubarak, and Brotherhood leaders have vowed not to hold any negotiations with the generals without the participation of the other groups in their so-called “national front.”
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