4 Types of Presidents Who Could Take Mohammed Morsi's Place
Protests in Egypt on Sunday just one year after the election of Mohammed Morsi are said to be even larger than the rallies calling for Mubarak's ouster during the Arab Spring. Violence between anti-Morsi and pro-Muslim Brotherhood factions are becoming more frequent. Four people have already been killed, including an American student working for a non-profit education program. Assuming that protesters get their way and Morsi steps down, there has yet to be a call for any particular replacement. Since no party has yet to field a candidate to replace the struggling president, the best we can do is speculate about what types of candidates will be fielded by looking at the most recent election results.
1. The Morsi Lookalike
No he doesn't actually look like President Morsi, but say hello to Saad El-Katani. El-Katani or any other representative that the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party fields still has a chance to win the presidency. Despite the party's growing unpopularity among many Egyptians, pro-Muslim Brotherhood proponents still make up a large voting bloc within the country. If opponents split the moderate vote, we could see a very similar president sitting in the seat of power.
2. The Nasserist Candidate
Still a popular figure among many Egyptians, as well as an opponent of Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, the one-time political prisoner Hamdeen Sabahi represents Nasserism in the Dignity Party. Nasserism is a pan-Arab nationalist ideology that holds that Arabs have stagnated in world politics because of intellectual paralysis and the oppression of foreign "devils." Sabahi won 17% of the vote in the last set of elections and seeks to bring Egypt's former status as a Middle Eastern regional power back.
3. The "Strong Egypt" Candidate
Founder Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh of the Strong Egypt Party, whose popularity has been growing dispite limited resources, may be a candidate to replace Morsi. Abol Fotouh was a former ranking member of the Muslim Brotherhood who left because he felt that "its leaders did not believe in democracy." This view is held among a majority of protesters in Tahrir Square that will likely win him more votes.
The leader of the Strong Egypt Party believes in economic progressivism and socially moderate politics. He does not believe that international loans are a way of improving Egypt's economic slump.
4. The Anti-Muslim Brotherhood Candidate
With the torching of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo by several youth protesters, it is clear that there is no lack of animosity towards the country's governing party. It may be that the candidate who espouses the most hate toward the Muslim Brotherhood will collect the most votes on election day, should "Pharaoh Morsi" abdicate. This could result in another Sadat, Mubarak, or Shafik taking power.
Even now as members of President Morsi's cabinet begin resigning, Egyptians should ready themselves for new leadership and consider who would be the best possible candidate to lead Egypt forward.