Morsi Wins Presidential Election
Egypt’s electoral commission announced Sunday that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi won the presidential runoff with 13.2 million votes, or 51.7%, and will be Egypt’s first democratically elected president. The electoral commission spent an hour detailing specific violations that had been investigated but ultimately ruled the elections were credible. The majority of the 456 complaints filed by both sides were dismissed and about 800,000 votes were invalidated. Hundreds of thousands reportedly gathered in Tahrir Square to wait for the official announcement, and burst into celebration with fireworks when the news broke.
State television reported that Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), officially congratulated President-elect Morsi on his win, but as of yet there is no response from Morsi’s opponent, Ahmed Shafiq. Spokesman Gihad Haddad for the Muslim Brotherhood announced protests will continue against the Supreme Court’s dissolution of parliament and SCAF’s constitutional annex limiting the president’s power. Haddad also told Al Jazeera, “there will be no religious dominance over political decisions whatsoever,” when asked if Egypt’s new government will be secular.
Prior to the announcement, the U.S. embassy in Cairo addressed via Twitter claims that Secretary Clinton had in some way endorsed Morsi when she called on SCAF to hand over power to “legitimate election winner.” Liberal groups Saturday had condemned Clinton’s remarks as “U.S. intervention” in the election. The U.S. embassy denied supporting any candidate and affirmed their commitment to the democratic process.
Also, Sara Sorcher writing in the National Journal details the regional impact of the Obama Administration’s handling of the NGO crisis in Egypt. Sorcher argues that prioritizing security and flexibility over the defense of civil society groups has encouraged governments across the Middle East to clamp down on democracy and freedom promoting activists. Sorcher warns this trend is spreading further, even among U.S. allies like Israel, and that without change, the U.S. will undermine the Arab Spring and alienate itself from Arabs