By Alya Essam
In the space of one week, Egypt’s political map has been in a state of constant flux, with only one institution standing solely to represent the state. Major political developments rapidly alter the scene. Egypt’s public opinion is lost in a general mood of perplexity. Only two days before the presidential elections run-off, two strong verdicts issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court significantly altered an already very confusing situation.
The continuation of Ahmed Shafiq in the presidential marathon has dashed the hopes of many Egyptians who never wished to see that an extension of Mubarak’s era look likely to achieve high political office. The public opinion has fractured into two main rivals. Some have decided to vote for Shafiq but out of nothing except fear for the Muslim Brotherhood, who have been perceived as intent on monopolising power. The other side stuck to a decision of supporting whoever candidate stands against Shafiq. There were many who may have voted for Morsi but were not necessarily convinced with him or his presidential program.
Also, many felt that Morsi did not represent the true revolutionary cause, but at least he was not an enemy of it. The timing of these rulings have caused many analysts to wonder whether or not these are early signs of a military coup. Disbanding the parliament, the only legitimate authority elected so far, has been used as evidence that SCAF’s are pursuing a strategy to undermine the Muslim Brotherhood. In turn this makes it easy for members of the public to convince themselves that a grand conspiracy is at work. When Morsi’s campaign declared that its candidate was the winner, based on results from little more than 13,000 electoral committees, it is clear that they were targeting public opinion and trying to create momentum behind Mohamed Morsi.
The campaign has decided to break through the regulations of the Higher Electoral Committee and unilaterally annouce their candidate as the winner. Just one day after, Shafiq’s campaign angrily responded to Morsi’s claim of victory and insisted that their candidate was the winner. In the middle of all the chaos, the Higher Electoral Committee stood still and even delayed announcing the results of the elections. How would normal Egyptians perceive all these conflicting statements over such a short period of time? Is it a game, perfectly played, by the Muslim Brotherhood to assert in the public’s opinion that Morsi is the winner? This tactic would also allow them to convince the public that elections have been forged in case Shafiq is pronounced the president.
Again the Muslim Brotherhoods tactics will only reinforce the prevailing sense among people that grand conspiracies are controlling their lives. Reports about Mubarak’s death, or critical health conditions depending on your news source, are another dubious addition to the whole situation. Egypt’s official news agency MENA announced that the ousted president was ‘clinically dead’, where as few minutes after Egyptians read breaking news by Reuters and CNN reporting he remains on life support. With a very insecure public opinion, Egyptians are always trapped to think inside the box of secret plans! Nothing in Egypt is certain, except for SCAF’s powers!