Egypt: Court voids vote. CNN: 'The court's decision dissolves parliament, and the military was quick to say it now controls legislative affairs in Egypt, actions that raised the prospect of renewed mass street protests. ...'
In one ruling Thursday, the Supreme Constitutional Court found that the rules governing January's parliamentary elections were invalid, triggering the dissolution of parliament.
In the second, the court rejected a law barring former regime members from running for president, clearing the way for Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister under former Mubarak, to run in this weekend's runoff election. He faces Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist candidate favored by many in the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies and supporters.
The court said last year's parliamentary vote - the first free and fair poll in decades - was unconstitutional, and called for fresh elections.
The decision effectively puts legislative power into the hands of the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (Scaf), who were tasked with overseeing Egypt's transition after the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
The court also upheld the right of [former PM Ahmed] Shafiq to run for president.
MEI Editor's Blog:
It is possible that Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will go back to the barracks at the end f the month, as frequently promised, but since SCAF seems to have been given the powers of both Parliament and the Constitutional Assembly, I wouldn't hold my breath.
In fact, right now, SCAF seems to have more power than the Egyptian military has held at any time since the 1950s. Nasser, and after him Sadat and Mubarak, always kept a balanee between the Army and the Interior Ministry with its police, State Security, Central Security, and other forces, so each counterbalanced the other. Now Mubarak's Interior Minister, Habib al-Adly, is in prison, and Mubarak's Defense Minister, Field Marshal Tantawi, is in charge. In fact, with SCAF appointing the judges and controlling the Interior Ministry by naming the Minister, and with Parliament dissolved, SCAF seems to be in charge of virtually all the instruments of the state, at least for the moment. And yesterday's ruling allowing Military Police to arrest civilians — by an astonishing coincidence introduced the day before today's court rulings — seems to have re-introduced the recently ended State of Emergency through the back door.
The last time the Egyptian Army wielded this much power was probably in 1954 ...