|Repercussions of Mubarak verdict may halt democratic process in Egypt||
The verdict in Hosni Mubarak’s trial went against the will of the majority of Egyptians and it may create a new standoff between the Islamists and the military.
The confrontation is expected to escalate, which will make the revolutionaries more determined to realize the objectives of the revolution. The verdict could also tarnish the image of the Egyptian judiciary, which has an excellent reputation and a tradition of relative independence.
It is also believed that the ruling will have a great impact on the next round of the Egyptian presidential election, which is scheduled to be held on June 16 and 17.
Mohamed Morsi, the chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, will surely enjoy unexpected support from voters who are opposed to the continuation of military rule. Before the verdict was issued, Morsi was expected to only gain the votes of the Islamists, but now he can rely on other groups, including the nationalists, who are very worried about the possibility that Morsi’s rival, former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, may win.
Street clashes are also likely to resume, given the revolutionaries’ huge discontent. This turn of events could be used by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) as a pretext to postpone the run-off election. And this would be the worst threat to the entire democratic process.
Thus, the situation is ripe for an outburst of sectarian clashes between the Coptic Christians, who do not want to see the Islamists attain power, and the Muslims, who believe that people like Shafiq would take the country back to the dark days of dictatorship.
All this would prepare the ground for SCAF to declare a state of emergency and postpone the election on the pretext of a security crisis. This would bring a full stop to the democratic process in Egypt, which has been the epicenter of the reform movement in the Arab world since the uprisings began.
Jafar Qannadbashi is an expert in African politics based in Tehran.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader