The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi faces a host of daunting political hurdles after being officially declared Egypt's first freely-elected president on Sunday.
A week after Egypt's presidential runoff between the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi and Mubarak-era premier Ahmed Shafiq, the military's preferred candidate, both men continue to claim victory amid tit-for-tat allegations of electoral fraud.
Egyptians are returning to the polls this weekend to choose between Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, ousted president Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, in a hotly-contested presidential runoff.
As Egyptians head to the polls Wednesday and Thursday to elect the country's first post-Mubarak president, local analysts say that voting results - even on the very eve of the balloting - remain impossible to predict.
More than 15 months after Egypt's Tahrir Square uprising and four months after free parliamentary polls, many Egyptians say that daily living conditions are worse now than they were in the Mubarak era.
The two weeks since Egypt's abrupt cancellation of a Mubarak-era gas-export deal with Israel have seen an exchange of indirect threats and warnings between the two countries, culminating in an apparent Israeli military build-up on the border of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has surprised both supporters and rivals by abruptly announcing its own nominee for upcoming presidential elections, despite earlier promises that it would not field a candidate from within its own ranks.
The large proportion of Islamist-leaning members in Egypt’s Constituent Assembly elected last month has led to accusations that Islamist parties - especially the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) - are effectively monopolising the constitution-drafting process.
More than 800 Egyptians of varied backgrounds and political orientations have officially registered their candidacies for the country's first post- Mubarak presidential election. Although more candidates are expected to emerge before the registration process ends Apr. 8, most local analysts say the contest - slated for late May - will be dominated by a small handful of high-profile contenders.
Egypt's legal campaign against a handful of foreign NGOs reached a crescendo last week with the repatriation of several U.S. nationals indicted on charges of engaging in unauthorised civil society activity. But many local analysts believe the latest developments - far from signifying the end of the crisis - portend nothing less than a seismic shift in Egypt's longstanding "strategic relationship" with the U.S.
Several revolutionary groups are calling for mass demonstrations against military rule on Wednesday to coincide with the first anniversary of the January 25 uprising that ultimately toppled the Mubarak regime. But many express doubt the event will succeed in replicating last year's revolutionary fervour on the part of the masses, most of whom express a desire for stability and a smooth transition to democratic governance above all else.
The Islamist landslide in recently concluded parliamentary polls has led to fears in some quarters of an impending paradigm shift in Egyptian foreign policy. Most local analysts, however, dismiss the likelihood of any sea changes, especially when it comes to the sensitive issues of Palestine and the Camp David peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.