Egypt's presidential election Sunday was supposed to be the culmination of a transition to democracy. Instead, the military junta made it clear it has no interest in a truly democratic transition.
In campaigns abroad, victories for Egypt's military are few and far between.
There was the loss of more than 20,000 men in the country's ill-fated intervention in Yemen in the early '60s, the humiliating defeat in the 1967 war with Israel, and the October 1973 offensive against Israel in the Sinai that ended in a draw.
But on the field of political battle at home, Egypt’s military reigned supreme, at least since the 1952 Free Officers coup that ended Egypt's monarchy and placed Gamel Abdel Nasser in the presidency. When he died, Free Officer Anwar Sadat succeeded him. And after Islamist gunmen murdered Mr. Sadat in 1981 in part over the peace deal he'd signed with Israel the previous year to secure the return of the Sinai Peninsula, Air Force Gen. Hosni Mubarak succeeded him.
Now, the votes are being counted from Egypt's first-ever free presidential election. Results are expected Thursday. Ahmed Shafiq is a retired officer and long-time confidante of Mr. Mubarak's, putting him very much in the mold of Egypt's leaders for the past 60 years. A victory for Mohamed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood, would be something else again: a real break from the past with a leader hostile to the military's position as a state within a state.
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