Egypt’s Islamists Claim Presidency

Egypt has been on a long road from revolution to democracy and the end seemed to be in site as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood stated that its candidate had won the presidential election. Overnight though, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a decree which will keep it in control for the time being.

Islamist Mohamed Mursi came out on top in the votes and should be the first civilian leader the country has seen in 60 years. However, the SCAF issued a decree on Sunday which would place strict limits on the powers of head of state, effectively keeping them in control for the moment. They have until July 1 to hand over to civilian rule in accordance with their pledge made to the people.

In a victory speech given by Mursi, a former political prisoner, he said “Thanks be to God who has guided Egypt’s people to the path of freedom and democracy, uniting Egyptians for a better future.” His intentions seem to be pure but many Egyptians are uneasy with the results. People are now worried that even if a return to the old regime may be avoided, a future religious state that may be possible under Mursi’s leadership is just as bad.

In a country that depends on a vital tourist trade, this latest move by the SCAF may prolong the uncertainty in the country and further harm the economy. Many feel it is a blow to democracy and revolution and some are even calling it a military coup.

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