Egyptians are choosing their president this weekend in a runoff election that pits a military stalwart and standard bearer for the old regime, Ahmed Shafik, against the leader of an increasingly assertive Islamic movement, Mohammed Morsi. The good news, 16 months after Egyptians ousted Hosni Mubarak in a two-and-a-half-week uprising, is that the choice is stark. Shafik, an ex Air Force chief, makes no secret of the fact that he admires Mubarak and wants to restore the secular, quasi-military state that the ex-dictator ran for nearly 30 years, albeit with an electoral frame. Morsi is more complicated. A leader of the long-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, he’s promised to bring more religion and more democracy to Egyptian public life, without necessarily explaining how the two will coexist.
But regardless of the outcome, events over the past few months have made clear that the state machinery of the former regime–the military, the internal security agencies and the judiciary that Mubarak stacked with his own people for years–will continue to exert huge influence over the country for years to come.
Already, those institutions are largely responsible for the fact that despite the revolution’s lofty goals, Egyptians find themselves on the eve of the election with no Parliament, no constitution, and a recent reinstating of some draconian “emergency” laws.
Full Article: Sans Parliament, Egypt Picks a President – The Daily Beast.