In a shocking, shocking! turn of events, it would appear that the Egyptian military has absolutely no intention of ceding power to the country’s rank and file. The Washington Post has the entirely unexpected details:
The Muslim Brotherhood’s disqualified presidential candidate, Khairat el-Shater, said Wednesday that Egypt’s military rulers have no intention of ceding real power to civilians and instead are manipulating the law to guide the outcome of the election in their favor and control the writing of the nation’s new constitution.Shater warned that his elimination from the race was a sign of fraud to come in the first presidential election since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011, and he called the process that led to it a “crime against the Egyptian people.” On Tuesday, Egypt’s presidential electoral commission permanently disqualified three front-runners, including Shater, and seven others, leading many to question the legitimacy of the historic vote just weeks before the May 23-24 balloting.“The military council, in my opinion, is not serious about the handover of power but is looking for a figure that it can control from behind the curtains,” Shater said.
Who could possibly have guessed this would happen?Needless to say, the Arab Spring continues to prove far more complicated, messy and fractious than the more breathless and excitable members of the punditocracy, the social media universe and the NGO community predicted at its outset.The struggle for power in Egypt is intensifying. The Muslim Brotherhood, sensing weakness on the part of the military and the old establishment, and worried about the growing appeal of its Salafi rivals, broke pledges not to seek the presidency and presented its own, now-disqualified candidate. Now the old establishment and the military have struck back.Today Tahrir Square has filled once again with protesters, everyone from Salafis to liberals is protesting the disqualification of their favorite candidate. United against the military, the protesters are divided on everything else. The future of Egypt remains obscure, the economic crisis intensifies, the laws and the courts have little public respect, and nobody really knows what to do.