In Egypt, Campaign 2.0 Looks a Lot Like Old Days

Same old Brotherhood, military divide, as new generation shut out
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2012 6:19 AM CDT
In Egypt, Campaign 2.0 Looks a Lot Like Old Days
Supporters of Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi shouts pro Sabahi slogans at a press conference at Hamdeen Sabahi campaign headquarters in Cairo Egypt, Saturday, May 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Fredrik Persson)

Egypt's top two vote-getters are heading into a runoff looking to broaden their traditional bases and shore up a vast middle ground, reports the AP. Neither are revolutionaries: Former air force commander Ahmed Shafiq and Islamist Mohamed Morsi represent the decades-old divide between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, respectively. Unofficial results show that Morsi underperformed expectations with 25.3% of the vote and Shafiq did better than expected with 24.9%—but less than 100,000 votes separated them.

The big wild card at the moment is third-place finisher Hamdeen Sabahi, who, although finishing 700,000 votes behind Shafiq, is calling for a partial recount—although both the Muslim Brotherhood and Shafiq mentioned the possibility of naming Sabahi deputy if elected president. More than 40% of the vote went to candidates more in the spirit of the uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power last year, but the votes were so fragmented, none of those candidates had a shot at making the second round. "Egypt is following the classic pattern of revolutions. People who made them get frozen out," said one Egypt expert. (More Egypt stories.)

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