The Mubarak Verdict
June 04, 2012
Topics: Arab Spring;
Hosni Mubarak, the former dictator of Egypt who was removed from power in February 2011, was given a life sentence in prison at his court trial yesterday. This verdict has enraged thousands of protesters in Egypt, who are demanding that he deserves the death penalty.
Last year during the Egyptian Revolution, numerous protesters were shot and killed by Mubarak's forces. Today's protesters were hoping that he would be given the death penalty for his actions, and are angry, believing that a life sentence is unjust and results from too many of Mubarak's friends remaining in power.
It is uncertain how long the current protests will go, or what effect, if any they will have.
Last week's presidential election did not give any candidate an absolute majority of the vote, so a runoff election is scheduled for June 16-17 between the first and second place candidates, Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafik. Morsi represents the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist party which would pursue Islamic law in Egypt. Shafik is a former official of Mubarak, and many believe he would maintain many of Mubarak's policies and programs.
The energy and passion against the Mubarak verdict is probably only a small fraction of the protests which would arise of Shafik wins the June election. Nonetheless, it is clear that a large portion of the Egyptian population still supports Mubarak and his old government, and are nervous about giving power to a new kind of government based on Islam. The elections in two weeks will undoubtedly be met with more protests.