Opinion Brief

Egypt's election result: Victory for the revolution?

The military confirms that the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi won last week's presidential runoff. Is this what Arab Spring protesters had in mind?

Egypt's military leaders confirmed on Sunday that Mohamed Morsi of the once-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood had won the country's first competitive presidential election. Tens of thousands of Egyptians celebrated in Tahrir Square, with fireworks exploding overhead. Morsi, honoring a campaign promise, promptly resigned from the Brotherhood and called for unity. "I will serve all Egypt," he said in his first address on state TV. Morsi's triumph was a relief to Egyptians who had feared that the military would rig the count and install Morsi's rival, Ahmed Shafik, who served as prime minister in ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak's last government. Still, the military has already gutted the power of the presidency and dissolved parliament. Is this really a win for democracy?

The revolution took a big step forward: With the "validation" of Morsi as Egypt's legitimately elected leader, says David Ignatius at The Washington Post, the country has "embarked on a full-scale test of the much-vaunted 'Turkish model' of Muslim democracy." It will take a strong civilian government to "deliver on the promises of the revolution." Morsi has a shot, but only if the military is willing to provide stability, stand back, and let "civilians run the show." "Morsi and the Egyptian military's role"

This is a defeat for the Arab Spring: Egypt isn't another Turkey; if anything, it's the next Iran, says Con Coughlin at Britain's Telegraph. The activists who brought down Mubarak risked their lives for a "Western-style, secular, and democratic system of government." Yet "Morsi's election, like the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, could serve as "the thin end of the wedge" for religious hardliners, who have tasted power and won't stop until they have "a full-blown Islamist state."  "Will Egypt become the new Iran?"

Egypt's revolution is far from over: Electing a legitimate president after decades of military rule is no small feat, says Britain's Independent in an editorial. But after the military's recent power grab, including the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament, Morsi will have to fight to have any power at all. Next he'll have to balance the interests of Islamists and secularists, crush cronyism, and fix the economy. Egypt's challenges aren't over; they're just beginning."Morsi does not have long to prove that he is up to the job. All the world is watching"

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