The new president of Egypt, Mohamed Mursi from the Muslim Brotherhood, has quickly come up against the contradictions of his position with the military still in power. He has issued a decree demanding the reinstatement of the parliament.
This is a challenge to Scaf, the military council, which dissolved parliament shortly before the results of the presidential elections were announced.Mursi is also under pressure from below.
When he made a speech in Tahrir Square on 19 June to mark his victory he said, “My door is open to all citizens, and I am in constant contact with you.”
Since his election victory, groups of workers have protested outside the presidential palace. Day labourers have been holding banners saying, “Take a look, president, at the daily workers.” Their demands were for health insurance and an unemployment subsidy.
Many voted for Mursi as the only alternative to the candidate of the old regime. He has encouraged expectations that he will deliver for ordinary people. This will be dependent on how much he can mobilise support to stand up to Scaf.
Early indications are that Mahmoud Jibril has won Libya’s first election in over 40 years. Jibril was the interim prime minister after the dictator Muammar Gaddafi fell.
The West are pleased because the Muslim Brotherhood did not win— and they hope to use Jibril. Libya remains in chaos a year after Nato planes bombed the country.