The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood now holds the trump card for the upcoming presidential election, after it conclusively proved in the March referendum [on constitutional amendments] and the recent parliamentary elections that it possesses influential voting power in the Egyptian street.
Every presidential candidate now seeks the explicit and clear support of the Brotherhood.
Based on this concept, Egypt’s political future can be imagined through the following equation:
1- The military establishment will relinquish power on a date no later than 30th June 2012.
2- The Muslim Brotherhood has won the vast majority of seats in both the parliament and the Shura Council.
3- For the first time there is now international blessing from the US, the European Union and a number of regional capitals for a current of political Islam coming to power.
4- On top of all this, the next President of the Republic will ultimately be determined by the votes of Brotherhood members, which means he will owe them and their upcoming government a huge political bill. If we go back to the 12th February 1949, the date when Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna was assassinated, no one would ever have thought the day would come when the President of Egypt would be pro-Brotherhood, or the Islamists would have a majority government and the majority of parliamentary seats.
Given the current situation whereby the Muslim Brotherhood has become “empowered” politically for the first time, its members will be tempted to almost solely seize the reins of power and put the Islamic caliphate project into action.
The great challenge facing the Brotherhood now is: can it deliver on the public promises it long made whilst in opposition, or whilst its members were imprisoned in jails or detention camps?
How can the Muslim Brotherhood, at the top of the state, government and parliament, transform for the better the lives of 85 million Egyptian citizens, providing livelihoods, job opportunities, medication, education and other services?
How can the Muslim Brotherhood prove that the slogan [Islam is the Solution] it continued to chant for years is actually the “solution”, more than just a slogan, and applicable on the ground?
Some political opponents of the Brotherhood say that the best thing to serve the group’s critics is to enable the Islamists to seize power and hold a majority government. Then, according to their estimations, the Brotherhood’s project will be proven beyond doubt to be a failure.
Egypt now is in a position between those looking forward to the Muslim Brotherhood’s forthcoming project, and those skeptical about its ability to succeed.