Egypt’s electoral body will soon announce former-regime-Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq as the country’s new president, according to several government sources, despite much of the polling showing his opponent as the victor.
One source in the current government said that Shafiq will be declared victor with 50.7 per cent of the vote, which is likely to be strongly disputed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohamed Mursi, who himself publicly predicted victory.
Both candidates have accused the other of lobbying Egypt’s power centers and pressuring the electoral authorities before the result was declared.
Egyptians are out in droves protesting in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, skeptical of how free and fair the election has been and will turn out to be. Shafiq is the former Prime Minister under ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak. A win for him will represent an enormous step backwards to most Egyptians who had hopes of overthrowing the corrupt, undemocratic system.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s military rulers in the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) vowed to “deal firmly” with anyone who obstructs the political process, which many suspect SCAF has tarnished. SCAF has usurped new powers, disqualified leading presidential candidates, given itself sweeping control over the budget and drafting Egypt’s new constitution, and has moved to dissolve the newly elected parliament.
“After the disbursement of US military aid (by the administration exercising its waiver) in 2012,” writes Egyptian journalist Issandr El Amrani, “the lack of strong reaction to the Egyptian military killing over 150 protestors and imprisoning thousands more during 2011–2012, and the lack of strong reaction to the complete perversion of the transition process (especially in the last week), I don’t think you can say the Obama administration has taken a pro-democracy position on Egypt.”
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