Thursday, June 21, 2012

Junta Delays Announcing Results In Egyptian Elections

Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces(SCAF), the military junta now ruling the country has announced a delay in giving the results in Egypt's tense presidential election. Both the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohammed Morsi, and Ahmed Shafiq, a former general and Mubarak-era minister have claimed victory.

The SCAF has already dissolved the newly elected Islamist dominated parliament on sketchy technical grounds, has declared itself the chief legislative body, reinstated martial law and reserved for itself the power to write Egypt's new constitution. All of these steps have led the Muslim Brotherhood to claim there is a military coup in the making.

They are likely correct:

A Brotherhood spokesman, Mahmoud Ghozlan, had already warned earlier that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has ruled Egypt since Hosni Mubarak's overthrow last year, might be preparing to steal the election. He said that the refusal by Mr Morsi's opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, a former general and Mubarak-era minister, to concede defeat and his insistence that he would be declared the victor raised suspicions that the army had "bad intentions".

"If Shafiq is declared the winner, this will make the coup clear," Mr Ghozlah, told the Saudi-backed newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat. "This encroachment on the result may lead to a confrontation between the people and the army".

The SCAF claims that the council overseeing Egypt's elections is examining a number of complaints over improper procedures and tampering from both sides.

While Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate has a substantial lead, there's a very good chance the military may simply negate the election for the time being while the election is 'investigated' and a sitdown occurs to see which candidate is willing to let the SCAF call the shots.

If it's Shafik, as is likely, than two key question remain: will the Islamists force a confrontation on the streets? That will depend on the answer to question two...will the rank and file military and noncoms follow their senior officers, or will they vote with their feet for Islam? In Iran, the military component of the revolt against the Shah started with a group of air force noncoms and enlisted men and spread. The generals followed.

If I had to bet, I'd bet on Islam winning out.

Another lesser question, of course, is what President Obama will do.If this is a military takeover 'for stability' will the Muslim Brotherhood enabler-in-chief deal with the junta or attempt to come out on the side of the Islamists?

Stay tuned..

No comments: