Why did the joy over Hosni Mubarak's life sentence turn so quickly into rage and frustration? Thousands of Egyptians have returned to the streets when it became clear that Saturday's court verdict failed to establish who ordered the killings of protesters in the anti-government uprising last year. Mubarak was convicted for not stopping the security forces from firing at the protesters, but six of six security aides walked free.
There's a wider feeling that remnants of the old regime are staging a comeback. Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister appointed by Mubarak, has won 24% of the vote in the first round of presidential elections and will face Mohammad Mursi, candidate of the Islamist Freedom and Justice Party, in the run-off on 16 June.
The protesters are calling for a re-trial and demand that Shafiq be disqualified from the vote under the new law banning former senior Mubarak's officials from standing for high office. The parliament briefly disqualified Shafiq back in April, before the election commission curiously overturned the decision.
More strife, rather than catharsis. Revolutionary youth organizations, Islamists, and defeated presidential candidates have all backed the protests, but there's almost no chance of Shafiq being banned at this late stage. It will be more interesting to see whether Mursi manages to clinch the support of liberals and leftists in the final vote. Judging by the divisions in the so-called revolutionary camp it's going to be an open battle.
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