Egypt: Mubarak Appointed Court Dissolves One-Third Of Parliament, Paves Way For Former Mubarak Official To Run
The new Islamist status quo rising up in Egypt will not bow down to this ruling without a fight. Things could get ugly …
By Ernesto Londoño and Leila Fadel, The Washington Post – “CAIRO — Egypt’s constitutional court ruled Thursday that Mubarak ally Ahmed Shafiq can run for president, and declared that one-third of the lower house of parliament was elected unconstitutionally–raising the possibility that parliament will be suspended until a new election can be held.
The eagerly anticipated rulings were a setback for Egypt’s revolutionaries and Islamists on the eve of the country’s landmark presidential vote, which begins Saturday. Protesters clashed with security forces outside the courthouse minutes after the decisions were announced.
By keeping Shafiq in the race, the court appeared to side with Egyptians who see the former air force chief— who served as Mubarak’s last prime minister, before Mubarak was ousted — as best suited to lead a country reeling from a year and a half of chaotic military rule.
The judges on the top court are Mubarak appointees and seen as sympathetic to the old order. That perception could fuel confrontations between anti-Shafiq protesters and security forces, who were recently given vast powers to detain civilians.
‘Both decisions empower the Mubarak status-quo, which is no surprise, as the judges of the court were appointed by the latter, and represent a part of the so-called ‘deep-state,’’ Omar Ashour, an Egypt expert at Exeter University, said in an e-mail.
Shafiq will compete for the presidency against Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood candidate. Morsi and his allies say Shafiq wants to return Egypt’s government to the repressive tactics Mubarak favored. Shafiq, in turn, says a Morsi victory would transform Egypt into an ultra-conservative Islamic state.” Read more.