Elections in the Land of Kleopatra

Well the Presidential electio0ns in Egypt have produced an interesting stand-off. The Muslim Brotherhood and the rep for the old Mubarek regime collected almost the same number of votes, demonstrating that diversity in Egypt is strong enough to prevent dominance by one party and insofar as that is a fact, tghe step has been in the corrct direction.
But the Muslim Brotherhood have an edge, not to mention a radical, non-negotiable agenda, and were they to come to power the turmoil would make all that has come to pass seem like a skirmish.
Hald the population consider themselves Arabs, half do not and therein lies the rub. The Army too has by no means returned to the barracks, neither have the touts along the Nile. There is¬† much in Egypt that can never be changed, especially the total dependence on tourism. The Muslim Brotherhood would love to disregard that reality and turn the country into a Sharia State, but face resolute opposition by a sector of the population – the Coptic Christians – who have never allowed themselves to be cowed and who represent 10% of the population, and by a large elite who consider themselves sectarian. MUbarek may have been overthrown, but the line from Nasser through Sadat to MUbarek exists as a powerful force dispite the disturbances of the so called “Arab Spring”. The Army of Merchants dependent on the foreign tourist trade would really need to be radicalized to an extent that paradise becomes their chief concern and I for one do not see that happening.Not in Egypt, the land of Cleopatra.

©Howard Gamble
26th May 2012

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