Egypt has a president
Egypt should have named its president by now. It might still do so, shortly.
For the fifth time since their revolution, Egyptians have lined up again to fill up the magic boxes of elections. This time, thought to be the last for a while at least, to finally elect the first president and celebrate the start of the second republic. The weeklong counting of ballots has not yet officially produced a president elect. It has however, markedly changed the course of events.
Egypt is braised to receive the announcement of the winner of the presidential race sometime in the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, the week has been heavily charged. Marked by a severe crossfire of rumors, outright accusations of election violations, and an avalanche of announcements of unofficial results, the week has been nerve wrecking for all, ushering back fresh strong waves of fear, anger and even resentment of the process. For onlookers the public scene has been framed as threatening a quite serious confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ruling military council. Behind the scenes, negotiations might yet provide fragile agreements to move forward.
The choice of president had left much to be desired by many Egyptians, offering what seemed like the reinstatement of the old regime or supporting political Islam. Many abstained and as many voided their ballots. The approximate 25 million who went to cast their vote seem to be almost equally divided. The casting decisions of many were against the other rather than for their choice. The media in Egypt called it a punitive choice.
Since the ousting on February 11, 2011, of the 30 year rule of Mubarak, the top seat has been practically vacant. In its stead the Supreme Council of the Armed forces (SCA) has been at the helm navigating through a very fluid, changing and challenging 15 months. This week could have been the moment all Egyptians had hoped for, since, according to the announced road map, it would finally signal the end of the transitional period and the start of a new civilian rule in Egypt. However, the moment never came. Egyptians are now well aware the transition has some time to go.
It will take time for this magnificent giant of a country to arrive at its new state. The pace of change will depend much on what Egyptians decide. The young will continue to dream of the new and the old will continue to yearn for the old. The power hungry, must juggle to create the opportunities for agreements to move the boat forward in smoother waters.
Egypt’s glory is yet to be made. Regrettably, anger and fear have once more gripped Egyptians minds and hearts. Families are divided; friends are falling out, accusations of treason fly around and hatred of the other beginning to prevail. Although, a sad state of affairs, it is a necessary phase of learning.
For those who want stability and to go back to the safety of the past, the results might be a nightmare. For those who cannot accept any part of the old regime back the results might be painful. Meanwhile, as all the voters panic or celebrate the military leadership patiently crafts its control or maybe safeguards the process towards democracy? The party is not over yet, there are as many who have chosen to abstain, be silent and boycott the game but not the whole process towards freedom and justice. Change is always patient with those who learn.