Last year’s revolution in Egypt drove Hosni Mubarak out of office, but the state of post-revolution Egypt, dominated by a massive military and a court stacked with Mubarak loyalists, is anything but certain.
A Thursday court ruling dissolving parliament was followed by the military sending troops to surround the building, and this weekend’s elections are now set to install the only elected official in the entire country, and come down to a choice between the Muslim Brotherhood’s Dr. Mohammed Mursi and the military’s favored choice, Air Marshall Ahmed Shafiq.
To call Shafiq the “new Mubarak” isn’t merely rhetoric. The long-time military man openly expresses his admiration for the former dictator and cites him as his “role model.” His role as a former regime insider sparked a court battle over whether or not he should even be allowed to run.
But the court ruled he could, and even though Mursi is seen favored by most of the public, the fear of a vote-rigging scandal is palpable, and with both the military and courts in his pocket, it seems unlikely Mursi would have much recourse if they just decide to declare Shafiq the run-away victor.
If that happens, there are certain to be protests, but Egypt will have come full circle in the past year and a half, ousting a dictator and installing a new one, and the revolutionaries returning to square one.