Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Barry Rubin: Egypt’s Presidential Election is a Defeat (Perhaps Only Temporary) For the Islamists

by Barry Rubin

  • Muhammad Mursi (Muslim Brotherhood), 25.3 percent
  • Ahmad Shafiq (ex-general, ex-prime minister), 24.9 percent
  • Hamdin Sabbahi (radical left), 21.5 percent
  • Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh (“moderate Islamist"), 19 percent
  • Amr Moussa (radical nationalist), less than 10 percent
While the Brotherhood claims victory, the election was actually a defeat—at least temporary and possibly less important than it seems—for the Brotherhood and Islamism. Here’s why.

The Islamist Camp

Note that only about 44 percent of voters backed an Islamist candidate, compared to 75 percent in the parliamentary election, while only about 25 percent voted for the Muslim Brotherhood compared to about 47 percent in the parliamentary vote. Why?
To begin with, the two top Islamist candidates were removed by the election commission, the Brotherhood’s first choice and the only Salafist candidate. Presumably, many voters stayed home or opted for their second choice party. The question is whether those who crossed the line and voted for a non-Islamist will return to the Brotherhood in the second round.
Continue reading Egypt’s Presidential Election is a Defeat (Perhaps Only Temporary) For the Islamists

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, was published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand  Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media 

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