If you endured beatings, intimidation and arrests to bring about the end of a dictator's 30-year reign only to decide between his former crony and an Islamist to take over the country, you'd be upset too. That sums up some of the dismay felt by Egypt's liberal revolutionaries in wake of this week's presidential elections, which will pit polarizing figures Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist nominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and Ahmed Shafik, a former Air Force general who served as ex-president Hosni Mubarak's prime minister, in a runoff election slated for June 16.
As reality sinks in that the next leader of Egypt will either be an Islamist ideologue or another military strongman, the country's left-leaning factions have begun decrying the results. "I'm launching a vote-for-Satan campaign," tweeted Ashraf Khalil, author of a book on the revolution. "Why settle for a lesser evil?" Tareq Farouq, a 34-year-old cab driver speaking to Reuters, said he couldn't believe the results. "I am in shock. How could this happen? The people don't want Mursi or Shafiq. This is a catastrophe for all of us," he said. "They are driving people back to Tahrir Square."