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Down the Egyptian Rabbit Hole: Fewer Mahd-Ha-Thiers at the Presidential Tea Party

“We Mod­er­ates Must Stick Togeth­er”

COMMENT: With the elim­i­na­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader Khairat el-Shater and the Salafist can­di­date, as well as Mubarak’s for­mer intel­li­gence chief Omar Suleiman from the Egypt­ian pres­i­den­tial race, many observers are puz­zled and some are pre­dict­ing chaos and/or vio­lence.

Here, too, there remain more ques­tions than answers. How­ev­er much of the polit­i­cal order of bat­tle in Egypt can be clear­ly dis­cerned and it favors the Islamists–who (between Salafists and Mus­lim Broth­er­hood) con­trol 70% of par­lia­ment.

Do not fail to note that the Islam­o­fas­cist Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is promi­nent in the back­ground of the two top remain­ing Islamist can­di­dates for the pres­i­den­cy. Mohamed el-Mur­si is a mem­ber of the Broth­er­hood’s lead­er­ship and its back­up nom­i­nee, while Abdel Mon­eim Aboul Foutouh, a “for­mer” (note the quotes) Broth­er­hood mem­ber was osten­si­bly expelled from the par­ty for going against direc­tives of its lead­er­ship. His sin was to run for pres­i­dent when the Broth­er­hood had announced it would not field a can­di­date.

It sub­se­quent­ly field­ed two.

The pos­si­bil­i­ty that Foutouh may be a “sheep-dipped” Broth­er­hood oper­a­tive is not one to be read­i­ly dis­missed. The Broth­er­hood is high­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed in their use of cyn­i­cal pow­er pol­i­tics and should not be under­es­ti­mat­ed.

Bot­tom line: the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s can­di­dates lead the Islamist field, although the high-pro­file head­lines and dis­cus­sion would incline the super­fi­cial to think oth­er­wise. If the Salafis man­i­fest vio­lence in any way, it will con­tin­ue to make the Broth­er­hood look “mod­er­ate.”

“Author­i­ties Bar 3 Lead­ing Can­di­dates in Egypt­ian Race” by David D. Kirk­patrick; The New York Times; 4/15/2012.

EXCERPT: The Egypt­ian elec­tion author­i­ties elim­i­nat­ed three of the country’s lead­ing pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates in one broad stroke on Sat­ur­day night in an unex­pect­ed deci­sion that once again threw into dis­ar­ray the con­test to shape the future of Egypt after the ouster of Hos­ni Mubarak.

The High Elec­tion Com­mis­sion struck down 10 can­di­dates in all, includ­ing the three who have gen­er­at­ed the most pas­sion in this polar­ized nation: Khairat el-Shater, the lead­ing strate­gist of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood; Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, an ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive Islamist; and Omar Suleiman, Mr. Mubarak’s for­mer vice pres­i­dent and intel­li­gence chief.

A lit­tle more than a month before the vote begins, the rul­ing raised new doubts about the cred­i­bil­i­ty of the elec­tion, which is sup­posed to inau­gu­rate a new democ­ra­cy after decades of author­i­tar­i­an rule. It capped a year of opaque deci­sions behind closed doors, shift­ing ground rules and timeta­bles, con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries about who holds true pow­er, tur­bu­lence in the streets and grow­ing polit­i­cal polar­iza­tion dur­ing the mil­i­tary-led tran­si­tion after the ouster of Hos­ni Mubarak.

And it comes at a time when the stakes of the pres­i­den­tial race have risen high­er than ever: the Islamist major­i­ty in Par­lia­ment has clashed with the lib­er­al minor­i­ty over the writ­ing of a con­sti­tu­tion and with the mil­i­tary over the con­trol of the gov­ern­ment. Some warned it could set off new street protests.

At the same time, the com­mis­sion, com­posed of five senior judges appoint­ed by Mr. Mubarak, appeared to prove its inde­pen­dence, shut­ting down the can­di­date most linked to the Mubarak gov­ern­ment and defy­ing an angry mob of Islamists out­side its door. It dis­qual­i­fied each of the can­di­dates on nar­row, tech­ni­cal grounds. . . .

. . . With those fig­ures gone, the bat­tle lines remain the same but the fight looks less fero­cious. Among the remain­ing Islamists are Mohamed el-Mur­si, a leader of the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s polit­i­cal par­ty and its back­up nom­i­nee, and Abdel Mon­eim Aboul Fotouh, a more lib­er­al for­mer leader of the Broth­er­hood who was expelled last year for buck­ing the polit­i­cal deci­sions of its exec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

Among the for­mer gov­ern­ment offi­cials, the remain­ing front-run­ner is Amr Mous­sa, a pop­u­lar for­mer diplo­mat who was side­lined with­in the gov­ern­ment as a poten­tial rival to Mr. Mubarak. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “Down the Egyptian Rabbit Hole: Fewer Mahd-Ha-Thiers at the Presidential Tea Party”

  1. Very good infor­ma­tion as usu­al Dave. I’m afraid the crim­i­nal­i­ty in Cairo may con­tin­ue for a while longer, and by the time enough peo­ple do wake up to the fact of just how bad­ly they’ve been hood­winked, they may already find them­selves liv­ing in an Orwellian hell­hole.....

    Posted by Steven L. | April 15, 2012, 5:19 pm

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