Back to Ground Zero in Egyptian Politics

Back to Ground Zero in Egyptian Politics

According to partial election results, Ahmed Shafik, who served as prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak, and Mohamed Morsi, the candidate nominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, will face one another in a runoff to become the first freely elected president of Egypt.

The race represents a struggle between the old order, which Shafik wants to restore, and the powerful Islamist opposition. And an expert who spoke with Trend Lines explained that the outcome is likely to polarize politics even further.

"We are back to ground zero of Egyptian politics in the Mubarak era of the old regime versus the Islamists," said Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow and program officer at the Century Foundation as well as a contributor to World Politics Review. "The way the vote was fragmented has resulted in an even more polarized runoff than is reflective of the country's politics."

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