Egypt's central election commission is expected to put an end to the thriller in the next day or so and finally announce who won the presidential elections. But what is important is who the winner is, but rather who will control Egypt the day after the announcement.
The army and the Muslim Brotherhood are the two major powers in Egypt's post-Mubarak era. They will apparently continue their struggle over the next few months. The Muslim Brotherhood, however, has some advantages: It is not weighed down by support for the previous regime and it has already proven its electoral strength. It has the ability to bring hundreds of thousands of people out into the streets and, of course, it has Allah on its side.
For these reasons, the Muslim Brotherhood will certainly have control in Egypt, if not on Sunday or Monday, then definitely by Tuesday. So it is no wonder that over the weekend the two camps were in talks. A victory by Ahmed Shafiq will only postpone the election of the Muslim Brotherhood and its candidate, Mohammed Morsi or someone else, to a later date.
The Muslim Brotherhood, established in 1928, can still quietly include U.S. President Barack Obama as one of its honorary members. One must remember that Obama abandoned the hated former President Hosni Mubarak in great haste and without hesitation at the start of the revolution. Now, according to reports in Egypt, Obama's government is putting pressure on the army to allow Morsi's coronation. I might also mention that the U.S. government already gave its certificate of approval to the Muslim Brotherhood by holding a long series of talks with it.
Gen. Abdel Moneim Kato, a retired officer who advises the ruling military council in Cairo, vehemently attacked Washington in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper El Masry El Youm, saying that the army did not appreciate U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's criticism. The army currently feels what Mubarak recently felt. Obama is gambling on Egyptian "democracy." As a result, Mubarak received the protesters’ judgment and the army will now need to accept the voters’ judgment. At least this is what Washington thinks.
The army and the Muslim Brotherhood were supposed to divide control in Egypt, to the point of laying down their last and crucial weapons. But the brotherhood, ecstatic from the parliamentary elections, also sought the presidency, a flagrant breach of its promise not to run a candidate at this stage of the democratic process. Of course, the army responded through the election commission, disqualifying the brotherhood's first presidential candidate. It then castrated the powers of the new president and, recently, rejected the election results. Despite this, both sides must remain in contact. The question now is how to do so when there is no trust between the different sides.
The army has tanks and rifles; the Muslim Brotherhood has the streets and the voters. The secular, liberal movement in the country knows exactly what it doesn't want, but these are the only two options on the menu.