Mohammed Morsi signed Egypt’s new Sharia-based Constitution into law earlier today after a two round vote where the document passed by 63.8 percent according to the election authority. Protests against the draft constitution began before it was even released, after Morsi seized judicial powers in preparation for a new constitution. Protests started immediately, with the proposal of the new constitution just a week later spurring more protest. The opposition mulled a boycott of the constitutional vote before throwing their weight behind a “no” vote.
And while the government blamed unrest on a “small but powerful minority” supporters of the opposition saw it the other way around. “70 percent of the Egyptian people are ignorant and illiterate, and the 70 percent now control the 30 percent of the population who are educated,” one female voter told euronews in Egypt. Like others, she accused the government of fraud in the elections. The results represent a third straight electoral win for the Muslim Brotherhood since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The Muslim Brotherhood had long been banned in Egypt, helping it become the only real opposition force in Egypt despite losses in elections that came in the twilight of the Mubarak era. Though the Muslim Brotherhood initially stayed away from the protests that would lead to Mubarak’s toppling, when it was clear Mubarak’s days were numbered, it attached itself to the moment, identifying as the major recipient of the Mubarak regime’s brutality. Despite this, wrote Morsi in 2011, the revolution was Egypt’s, not the Muslim Brotherhood’s. “The Muslim Brotherhood are not seeking power,” Morsi clarified just two days later. Less than a year and a half later he had been elected president. It’s been a lot of power-seeking since.