This morning the Egyptian Supreme Court invalidated parliamentary election and dissolved parliament (which is about three-quarters Islamist). Power has reverted to the military, which now is the only authority. The presidential election is still scheduled for this weekend but the court also ruled that a law passed by parliament last month
banning senior former regime figures from running for office was
unconstitutional. Which means Ahmed Shafiq former Prime Minister under President Mubarak will be allowed to run
As a result of a third of the legislature being elected illegally, the court says in its explanation of the ruling, “the makeup of the entire chamber is illegal and, consequently, it does not legally stand.”
The explanation was carried by Egypt’s official news agency and confirmed to The Associated Press by one of the court’s judges, Maher Sami Youssef. The ruling means that new elections for all 498 seats in parliament will have to be held.
A statement posted to the Facebook page of former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh says the rulings amounted to “a complete coup,” the Reuters news agency reported.
Many of the opposing parties believe the action was manufactured by the Military:
“We do not need a court ruling to ban Shafik,” said Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan. “We will put all our efforts into the upcoming elections so that Morsi wins and we avoid the rebirth of the old regime overnight.”
“Egypt just witnessed the smoothest military coup,” said Hossam Bahgat of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, in a tweet after the high court’s decisions Thursday. “We’d be outraged if we weren’t so exhausted.”
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
Perhaps as evidence that the military was the source of the court rulings, just yesterday Egypt’s military-led government announced martial law-type rules,
extending the arrest powers of security forces–military officers were the authority to
arrest civilians. These new rules will stay in effect until constitution is introduced, which means political prisoners will stay in jail for a long time.
No one knows what will happen, the situation is fluid–expect violence.