Egypt’s liberal political parties say the US is intervening in the country’s presidential elections and trying to sway results in favor of the ruling military council and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The accusation comes after weeks of turmoil and confusion about who actually won the first post-Mubarak presidential elections. Former Mubarak Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq is now rumored to win over the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohamed Mursi.
But many fear election results have been fiddled with by corrupt electoral authorities and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). The liberal parties are unhappy with both front runners.
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.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded that the military “support the democratic transition, to recede by turning over authority.” But these words are no more meaningful than when they were uttered in previous administrations, when ‘spreading democracy’ was talked about in the midst of propping up dictators like Mubarak.
“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.”