Jun 14 2012
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Military back in power, parliament dissolved
Thursday, Jun 14, 2012
Cairo: Egypt braced itself for fresh political turmoil Thursday after a constitutional court cleared ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak’s last premier to run for president and ruled illegal the Islamist-led parliament that sought to bar him, deepening political rifts just two days before the key vote. The decision handed legislative power back to the generals who took power when Mubarak was overthrown in a popular uprising early last year, a military source said. The Supreme Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that a third of the legislature was elected illegally. As a result, it says in its explanation of the ruling, “the makeup of the entire chamber is illegal and, consequently, it does not legally stand.”
According to the court, fresh elections for the entire parliament would have to be held. Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmad Shafiq called the court rulings “historic” and said the “era of political score settling” was over. The decision will likely spark a strong backlash from many Egyptians who view this as an attempt for the military council to take back power and undercut political gains by the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist parties. Already, Essam Al Arian a senior Muslim Brotherhood politician said Egypt would enter “a dark tunnel” if the Islamist-dominated parliament was dissolved. Abdel Moneim Abu Al Fotouh, a former presidential candidate said the decision amounted to a “complete coup”. “Keeping the military candidate (in the race) and overturning the elected parliament after granting the military police the right to arrest is a complete coup and whoever thinks that millions of youth will let it pass is deluding themselves,” he said. “This ruling is politically motivated and seeks to hand over power to Shafiq in the absence of parliament,” said Muslim Brotherhood member Mokhtar Al Ashri . Hundreds of protesters, gathered outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in the southern suburb of Maadi, shouted slogans against Shafiq on learning that the court allowed him to run. “Illegal, illegal,” shouted the protesters standing behind barbed wires set up by the army to keep them away from the court building. “Down with the military rule. Down with Felul,” they chanted, using a derogatory term in referring to the Mubarak-era officials. Shafiq’s opponents see him as an extension of the Mubarak regime.
By Ramadan Al Sherbini Correspondent
© Gulf News 2012. All rights reserved.
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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