The first round of nationwide voting for the next President of Egypt concluded yesterday. While officially certified (post-appeal) results are not expected until Sunday or Monday, early indications are 1) that no candidate secured the 50%+1 required to win outright and 2) that the runoff election scheduled for 16-17 June will pit the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Mursi against either Ahmed Shafiq, long-serving Minister of Civil Aviation and also Prime Minister during the final 18 days of Mubarak's reign, or the Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi. On the basis of preliminary tallies of votes from twenty-three of Egypt's twenty-seven governments, the results are as follows:
I'll update this diary as I am able with both voting-results from the outstanding governorates and commentary as well. For now, though, Juan Cole's comments can suffice.
If Sabahi can maintain his narrow lead over Ahmad Shafiq [note: based on Al-Nil's broadcast], the resulting run-off will give Egyptians a choice between a leftist secularist and a Muslim fundamentalist, both of them from the opposition to Mubarak.To appreciate the dynamics involved in a Mursi (Muslim Brotherhood) versus Shafiq (military) runoff, one could hardly do better than peruse Robert Springborg's Egypt's Cobra and Mongoose.
If Shafiq can pull back ahead of Sabahi, the resulting election would be a huge catastrophe for Egypt.
If Egyptians have to decide between Mursi and Shafiq, they’ll have a stark choice. They could give the Muslim Brotherhood two of the major branches of civilian government and risk a swift move to Islamic law and one-party dominance. They could split the ticket and support the secular Shafiq, who is very much a creature of the old regime and of the Egyptian military. In some ways he would resurrect Mubarak’s policies but will face new limitations in presidential rule by fiat. He speaks warmly of Mubarak, and would be a highly polarizing figure who would certainly provoke a whole new round of big demonstrations on the part of the New Left youth and perhaps also Muslim fundamentalists. He has ominously promised to crack down hard on “destructive demonstrations.” Although the Western politicians and business classes might favor Shafiq for surface reasons, in fact they’d be buying a whole lot of trouble if they backed him.
As for the Revolution? It may be dead, or may be reignited.
UPDATE: numbers in from Asiut and Qalyoubia governorates indicate that Shafiq's lead over Sabbahi is growing, and that Shafiq is tightening the race with Mursi. Still awaiting Giza and Cairo.