THE EGYPTIAN BALL OF THREAD
Polling stations looked empty yesterday Saturday. They're looking even emptier this Sunday. So, where are the voters? Not in Cairo. "The heat" is the reason most commonly given to those who seek to understand the reasons behind this desertion. Unacceptable, illogical. In the end, Field Marshal Tantawi could very well be putting the finishing touches to his second coup in fifteen months. The first one toppled his former boss, Hosni Mubarak. The second one kicked the Muslim Brotherhood out of Parliament just two days before the final standoff in the country's first ever "free and democratic" presidential elections. As uncertainty grips Egypt, fear and theories abound. Both feed off of the unpredictability of the situation coupled with the awareness that the Land of Pharaos is headed for a deep political crisis. So, Monday June 17th 2012? Back to square one? Certainly not. If Mubarak's former Prime Minister wins, the army becomes more powerful than it ever was in contemporary Egypt, confirming the nations' shift from a police state to a full on "military state", with the current rulers, the Supreme Council of armed forces, holding all legislative and executive powers, tasked with writing the constitution and free to arrest whom they please or need to. On the other hand, if the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood wins, his Freedom and Justice party will have no other choice but to engage in a dangerous confrontation with the military. The latter will want to protect their economic empire and perpetuate their decades old habit of limiting the influence of the islamists as much as possible. Once in power how will the men who spent months, at times years in prison, deal with their former jailers? And what would President Morsi do for Egypt? Will he implement some of the laws discussed in Parliament during his party's short stint there: denying women the right to file for divorce, criminalizing pornography, executing those who insult the Prophet? And what responsability do the young revolutionaries carry in the face of they are calling a political farce, an insult to the uprising which they propelled? Did the Tahrir Facebook rebels think they could tweet Tantawi out of power? Are they not the ones who wasted it all by not finishing a job they began on February 11th 2011? Today's world of Egyptian political intrigues looks and feels like an endless ball of thread. Pulling just generates more questions. At the end of it lies the future of the most populous country in the Arab world, the center of gravity of an entire region.