Egypt has once again taken a step towards the furnace of bloody clashes!
The Muslim Brotherhood’s nomination of the engineer Khairat al-Shatar for president has brought the political situation as a whole in the country near to an explosion, which will (unfortunately) only end with clashes on the street.
The nomination, which was announced a few days ahead of the deadline, will lead to several complex outcomes in several directions, which can be summarized as follows:
1. The nomination of engineer al-Shatar will cause the votes within the Islamist current to fragment and be spread between the five main candidates: Dr. Mohammad Salim Al-Awa, Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, Professor Bassem Khafaji and finally engineer al-Shatar.
2. The nomination also declares a direct overt clash with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which continued to believe the Brotherhood’s promise that it would not nominate a candidate to run for the presidency.
3. It will have a negative impact upon the cohesion between the Muslim Brotherhood elite and their support base, especially among the youth who consider Dr. Aboul Fotouh to be a model.
4. SCAF is now under pressure to respond to the “Brotherhood’s act” with a counter measure, either constitutionally in the courts, or by putting forward a last-minute candidate from the military establishment.
Engineer Khairat al-Shatar comes from Alexandria, the stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist currents, and he is the “commercial and financial mastermind behind the Brotherhood”, whilst Dr. Aboul Fotouh [before being forced out of the group] represented an enlightened trend of political openness.
From here, a division is expected to occur within the Brotherhood’s support base, particularly among the youth who strongly participated in the 25 January Revolution, in confrontation with the Brotherhood’s founding fathers, who subscribe to the principle of blind obedience to the General Guide, the office of the Guide, and the Brotherhood’s Shura Council.
Of course, the Salafist movement, represented by Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, will be the most affected by al-Shatar’s nomination.
In the coming days, and I mean the days before the end of the deadline to put forward presidential nominations on 8 April, we will see political clashes and unexpected surprises, as well as new alliances and divisions threatening more chaos on the political scene.
The current situation will become clear within a matter of hours or days when we gauge the reaction of SCAF, which since the start of the revolution has been counting on a state of truce and harmony with the Brotherhood.