Celebrations sprinkled with uncertainties in Cairo

End of an era

Hundreds gathered on Monday to celebrate the victory of Mohamed Morsi, a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood who after defeating Hosni Mubarak’s former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq is set to become Egypt’s first freely elected president. The celebrations however were shrouded by a cloud of doubt.

“I didn’t sleep last night. I am happy we got rid of a remnant,” said Ahmed Adel, speaking of the defeated candidate, Ahmed Shafik. On Monday, Mr. Adel had to vote for Mr.Morshi despite him not being his first or second choice. “No one knows him,” he said.

“People who voted for Morsi chose him because of the institution he represents, not because of him,” said Nermine Gohar, a 39-year-old homemaker, one of many people — critics and supporters — who felt that the Brotherhood and its candidate were inseparable. “Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have earned this. They worked harder and longer than anyone else.”

An accidental nomination

Mr.Morshi was technically not supposed to run for president. After the 2011 Muslim revolt, the Muslim Brotherhood had declined to field a candidate in the race as it did not want to seem too eager to seize power.

The group however changed its position when it was unable to find an independent candidate to work with. Mr.Morshi then became the standard bearer but only after the Brotherhood’s first choice, Khairat al-Shater, was deemed ineligible.

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