Election pushes Muslim Brotherhood closer to political power in Egypt



The fight for Egypt's future looks likely to boil down to a showdown between the Muslim Brotherhood and a former fighter pilot with ties to the old regime, as the last votes were tallied in a presidential election that one leading activist said would lead to a “second revolution”.

With most of the counts completed, local newspapers reported that Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi – a bland, second-choice candidate derided by many critics as a "spare wheel" – had emerged as the victor with around a quarter of the vote.

It makes him a certainty to continue into the second round run-off on June 16 – a vote which could enable the once-banned Brotherhood to achieve its decades-old dream of total political control in Egypt.

A successful campaign for Mr Morsi was never in doubt. Despite his reputation as a monochrome party mandarin, the Brotherhood's financial and organisational clout guaranteed him a strong chance of making the final cut.

But the late charge by Ahmed Shafik – a former air force chief widely assumed to have the blessing of the ruling Military Council – came as a shock to many. Mr Shafik was appointed Prime Minister in the dying days of Hosni Mubarak's regime. He was later forced to resign under popular pressure, but during his run for the presidency managed to cultivate an image as a tough man who can fix Egypt's social problems and provide a bulwark against the rise of political Islam.

Mr Shafik holds particular sway among Egypt's minority Christian community, many of whom believe that the Muslim Brotherhood – which already controls nearly half of the seats on parliament – is intent on moulding Egypt into a hardline Islamic state.

"Our program is about the future. The Muslim Brotherhood is about an Islamic empire," said Ahmed Shafik's spokesman yesterday.

According to preliminary results published in the Egyptian press, Mr Shafik had taken around 23 per cent of the vote – just ahead of the left-wing candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, who reportedly polled around 20 per cent.

But his success has appalled political opponents and activists, many of whom believe Mr Shafik represents a brand of Mubarak-era despotism which protesters in Tahrir Square believed they could destroy.

A senior member of one of Egypt's main activist organisations warned the result could lead to further bloodshed, telling The Independent that a run-off between Mr Morsi and Mr Shafik might trigger a "second revolution".

peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits