A strikingly tense atmosphere prevailed across Egypt reflected in the 3-day-long uneasy wait by a mammoth crowd of supporters of Mohammad Mursi Eissa al-Ayat of the Freedom and Justice Party. Assembled at the famous Tehrir Square of Cairo, the crowd celebrated the announcement of Mursi’s victory as the first elected President in the country’s history. Tehrir Square, which had grown into a vast habitation of tents, broke into chants of “God is Great”, as the Election Commission declared their candidate as the winner on Sunday afternoon. He bagged 51.71 percent of the votes in the run-off elections held on July 16-17. Had his rival General (retd) Ahmed Shafik won, Mursi’s followers would have felt cheated out of the revolution they had only recently been through with blood and tears; for the General was a relic of the Mubarak era in which he had served as Prime Minister. At Shafik’s camp, however, there was a pervasive sense of trepidation created by the thought that should Mohammad Mursi win, Egypt might come in the grip of unusually harsh laws, reversing the country’s march towards modernity. The Freedom and Justice Party, of which Mursi was the candidate, is the political wing of Muslim Brotherhood and in the minds of Western oriented secularists-liberals, who wanted religion out of politics, Islamic laws were too harsh and unsuitable for the present age. The sizeable minority of Coptic Christians entertained similar apprehensions.
The Arab Spring as a result of which elections took place in Egypt, the most populous Middle Eastern country and the Arab world’s cultural capital with a long and glorious past, provides a clear indication that the people want to get rid of the dictatorial past. The success of Egypt’s Mr Mursi, is heartening for all democracies across the Islamic world. In the struggle and brave resilience of the Egyptian people, we see a hope for the future. Years of dictatorial duress undone by the will of the people, a beautiful sight indeed.