The Plagues of Egypt

The Plagues of Egypt

It’s people like Hassan—millions of them—who pose some of the biggest challenges confronting Mohamed Morsi. Somehow Egypt’s new president still needs to persuade these skeptics to believe in his campaign promises that things will get better. And that won’t be easy. When Morsi faced off against former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq in last month’s presidential runoff contest, half the country’s voters didn’t participate, and those who bothered to show up divided nearly down the middle. That left Morsi (who hadn’t even been his own party’s first choice for the presidency) the winner by the barest of majorities over his opponent, Shafiq, who was widely viewed as the military’s favored candidate and a relic of Hosni Mubarak’s ousted dictatorship.

The worst of it is this: no matter how unexpectedly skillful a politician Morsi might turn out to be, the task he’s facing is practically impossible.

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