For the last few months, I’ve been voicing my worries and concerns regarding the happenings that were to occur in June going as far as bluntly saying, “June will be a very black month in the history of Egypt.” “Black” entailed bloodshed and chaos Egypt wide. But June has come and almost gone, and Egyptians have proven me wrong yet again.
Prior to the sentencing of Hosni Mubarak, the rumour mill had him acquitted, pardoned, forgiven, or serving a maximum two-year sentence. On June 2, Hosni Mubarak, the ousted president, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was transferred immediately to Torra Prison, only to be moved to an army hospital in Maadi after suffering some serious medical complications, or so they say.
Granted there were demonstrations, but the system, whether it is the army or the courts, has proven the distrustful and the disbelieving wrong. And was I ever glad that the first event in June proved uneventful.
The second June event was how the Supreme Court was to look at a constitutional law that barred Shafik, the runoff candidate, from continuing with the presidential race. On June 14, it decided that Shafik can continue with the race. And on the same day, the same court called for the dissolution of the Parliament by declaring the parliamentary vote unconstitutional.
Both proceedings had protestors congregate in Tahrir for yet another standoff, but even that did not spark an escalated impasse.
But the most worrisome and disconcerting event was the presidential election second round. The run off was to be between Shafik, who represents the old regime in the eyes of many, and Morsi, who speaks for the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians had an aversion to both with votes going against the one they appalled more.
Egyptians went to the polls June 17 and 18, and the results came out June 24, after a nail biting, nerve racking week. The repercussions from the election fallout were clear: Egyptians will go to the streets to express their disapproval. In fact, both the police and the army forces roamed Cairo streets showing a strong presence in anticipation of clashes. Some Egyptians had started buying food and rations in case a shortage befalls Egypt.
Despite the time lost counting the votes, despite Morsi clearly threatening to reject the results, and despite a Tahrir livid with Morsi’s followers, Egypt came out unscathed.
But Morsi won, and Shafik conceded in a manner akin to that of worldly leaders. And the Muslim Brotherhood celebrated to their heart’s content in Tahrir. And as much as I would have preferred Shafik to Morsi, I’m relieved that the latter won to avoid the imminent bloodshed.
Again Egyptians didn’t fail me. As I was waiting for total pandemonium, luck was on their side. The only irony here is that the president, who is now being hailed as the head of the Egypt, would have been the one to instigate the bloodshed by calling his followers to protest. Still, and in spite of this revelation, I’m satisfied with the outcome.
June has indeed come and almost gone without any casualties; not only that, but it will be hailed in history as the month when Egypt got its first civilian president after a long list of army presidents. This is something to rejoice over.
Now, it is really up to Morsi to hold this country together. He has an assortment of portfolios to work through.
The first is whom he will swear allegiance to. The Freedom and Justice Party announced that Morsi will be sworn in to the dissolved parliament. This may lead to the first face off between SCAF and the new president.
Morsi also needs to unite all fronts by having representatives from every sect and wing working towards a unified Egypt: Copts, women, and liberals must be represented in the future government with renowned names such as El Baradei, who has already been mentioned for the position of Prime Minister, leading the convoy.
This may lead to Morsi distancing himself somewhat from the Brotherhood, but it is inevitable if he plans on convincing the 49 percent of voters who did not vote for him that he is fair, just, and representing of all Egyptians.
But after June many months will follow each one presenting Egyptians with one hurdle after another. They will take it in stride as they have managed to do so with all other stumbling blocks.
Yes, Egypt is on unpredictable path, which can take it either way, but having seen the outcome for the month of June, I see better months ahead.