The article examines the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt, 2012–2013, and how they dealt with the multifaceted challenges. The main argument is that the Brotherhood benefited from their past populist legitimacy to fill the vacuum created by the collapse of the Mubarak regime, but that this legitimacy waned when they did not consolidate this legitimacy with a tangible national achievement. The Brotherhood were unable to count on Egyptians’ sympathy for their endurance of rough treatment at the hands of the previous regime over many years, because the 25 January Revolution changed the Egyptian people's expectations and spread knowledge of how to punish rulers who fail to meet these expectations: with sit-ins and street demonstrations. Despite Muhammad Morsi's victory in the presidential elections, and the forceful curtailment of his four-year term by the army, this leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood failed to translate his legal legitimacy into a wider populist legitimacy based on tangible achievements.

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