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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/15/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Four-month old parliament had been eyed suspiciously by Egyptian military

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in control of Egypt since former president Hosni Mubarak's ouster after a popular revolt, had eyed the four-month old interim parliament with suspicion. Now, Egypt's highest court has declared the parliament invalid and the country's new constitution must be written before the end of this week.

Protesters outside the court chanted slogans against the former Mubarak regime and Shafik.

Protesters outside the court chanted slogans against the former Mubarak regime and Shafik.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/15/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Egypt, parliament, reform, Muslim Brotherhood


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Egypt's interim military rulers have since declared full legislative authority. The news is especially disheartening for those who wish for political reform here. "Egypt just witnessed the smoothest military coup," Hossam Bahgat of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said in an Internet message. "We'd be outraged if we weren't so exhausted."

Showee Elsayed, a constitutional lawyer says that the Supreme Constitutional Court found that all articles making up the law that regulated parliamentary elections are invalid. The ruling means that parliament must be dissolved.

The short-lived parliament had been dominated by Islamists. Egypt's largest Islamist party, The Muslim Brotherhood, said that leaders were taking matters into their own hands "against any true democracy they spoke of."

The court also ruled that former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister to serve under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, may run in a presidential election runoff this weekend, which will pits him against Mohamed Morsi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm.

"We do not need a court ruling to ban Shafik," Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said. "We will put all our efforts into the upcoming elections so that Morsi wins and we avoid the rebirth of the old regime overnight."

Most tellingly, the court rejected a law barring former members of Mubarak's regime from running in the election.

Many analysts here and abroad are not optimistic about the recent turn of events. Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, said the court rulings were the "worst possible outcome" for Egypt and that the transition to civilian rule was "effectively over.

"Egypt is entering into a very dangerous stage and I think a lot of people were caught by surprise," he said.

Protesters outside the court chanted slogans against the former Mubarak regime and Shafik.

Many voters were displeased with both choices in the runoff. Both Morsi and Shafik are the least reform-minded of all the candidates and represent "two typically tyrannical institutions: the first (Morsi) being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the second (Shafik) a senior official of the former regime," Sonya Farid wrote for Al Arabiya earlier.

The political scene in Egypt remains in upheaval after the parliament failed to agree on a committee to write a new constitution defining the powers of the president and the parliament.

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