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How a Morsi-Shafiq Runoff Could be Good for Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi came in first in the elections, with Ahmed Shafiq, a former Mubarak prime minister, following closely behind. Egyptian blogger Bassem Sabry says the only way to save the country is for revolutionaries to cooperate with a Brotherhood that commits itself to moderation.
People walk under giant campaign election billboards of presidential candidates former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq (R), and Mohamed Mursi, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political party in Cairo May 25, 2012. Egyptians must choose between a Muslim Brother or an ex-military man in a presidential run-off that highlights the stark rifts in a nation united in euphoria when Hosni Mubarak fell 15 months ago, first-round results indicated on Friday. With most votes counted, the Muslim Brotherhood said its ca

The first round of the Egyptian presidential election results has left both the Islamist and revolutionary political camps with a sense of pride and horrid disappointment.  For the Muslim Brotherhood, there is a sense of satisfaction that they managed to promote Mohamed Morsi, a non-star candidate, to the forefront of the vote with a respectable 25.30 percent of the vote.  

However, the massive vote count for Ahmed Shafiq, coming at a close second with 23.74 percent, seems to, at least partially, represent significant frustration with the immediate state of Egypt after the revolution as well as a direct backlash against the current, most dominant and visible force in post-revolutionary Egypt, the Brotherhood and (slightly less so) the Salafists. It is a considerably angry and reactionary blow to these Islamist forces, and it is happening only months after they collectively won nearly 75 percent of the seats in Egypt’s parliamentary elections. Of course, it must be said that it seemingly also represents some dissatisfaction with other revolutionary forces as well, including the protesting street.

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