Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi was declared the official winner of Egypt’s presidential election on Sunday.
The announcement put an end to nerve-wracking uncertainty about who the official winner was, but promises no resolution to the power struggles between Islamists, the military and other factions.
A gathering of secular-leaning politicians criticized on Saturday what they said was U.S. meddling on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. Other secularists stood behind the Islamist group preceding the initial announcement, calling it the best hope in the current circumstances against continued military domination of the country.
The dispute preceding the vote highlighted how the country has been split into deeply polarized camps since the June 16-17 runoff vote between Morsi and ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, whose campaign had also said he had won by a narrow margin.
Many Egyptians rallied behind Morsi as a chance to finally rid the country of the old Mubarak regime, while others supported Shafiq as the best bet to counter Islamists and restore order after a year of protests, economic hardship, and fear about crime and continued instability.
The official results were postponed by the commission, leading to speculation that the military rulers are using those results as a bargaining chip in backroom negotiations with the Brotherhood about post-election division of powers.