Some 7,000 Egyptians demonstrated on Friday, demanding that Gen. Ahmad Shafiq be disqualified as a candidate for president of Egypt in the run-off elections scheduled for later this month. Smaller demonstrations were held in other cities, including in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Alexandrians seem upset, but thec capital was more jaded. The turnout in Cairo was so disappointing that one newspaper made fun of it with a headline, ‘Million-person march turns out to be hundreds of persons march.”
That Egyptians have a choice between a Muslim Brotherhood leader (Muhammad Mursi) and Hosni Mubarak’s last vice president (Ahmad Shafiq) is a travesty.
Under a law passed by parliament, members of the last two Mubarak cabinets are ineligible to run. But the law has been appealed and the courts dragged their feet in ruling. Some say the military pressured them to do so.
In not immediately ruling the law valid, and declining to disqualify Shafiq before he got into the run-offs, the courts more or less allowed the law to be set aside. Since millions voted for the Air Force general, he has gained some legitimacy at the ballot box.
He has threatened to break heads and implies he will bring back Egypt’s dreaded police state.
The military and Mubarak’s judges may think they can skate clear to a counter-revolution at the polls and so retain their wealth and power despite the loss of their patron, the former dictator.
But if this scenario unfolds, likely they will suffer a crushing defeat at the polls in 2016, or there will be blood in the streets much before then.