The commotion was expected. As soon as Farouk Sultan, the chairman of Egypt’s election committee, began reading out loud on live television the number of votes received by Mohammed Morsi, the country’s first Islamist president (more than 13 million), the crowd stopped him with their loud shouts − some of them happy and some angry.
Only then, in that electrifying moment, after more than an hour of hearing tiresome details of the appeals filed with the committee, did it become clear that Morsi won with a lead of slightly under 1 million votes, in a country of 85 million.
Thus unfolded the second part of the democratic saga begun on January 25, 2011, the first day of the Egyptian revolution. The first part was over last December, when the first parliament of the post-Mubarak second Egyptian republic was elected.
Morsi’s victory illustrates the nature of the Egyptian revolution on several levels. After nearly six decades in which the Muslim Brotherhood was banned by law, after three presidents’ frightful struggles against the movement, its representatives have won the presidency and control nearly half the seats in parliament.
The movement’s victory symbolizes the goal of those behind the revolution, many of them secular liberals, to rid themselves of Hosni Mubarak’s oppressive regime. Voting for Muslim Brotherhood candidates is a way of voting against the old regime.
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