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Mubarak cronies try to take back Egypt power
Egypt’s top court plunged the country into turmoil Thursday when it ruled that the Islamist-dominated parliament must be dissolved and the last prime minister to serve under ousted President Hosni Mubarak can run as a candidate in this weekend’s presidential runoff election.
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which won the most seats in parliamentary elections, denounced the court decision as a “coup” and took to the streets of Cairo in protest.
Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency later reported that the council decided to hold the runoff vote as scheduled Saturday and Sunday when Egyptians will choose between former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi.
Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, wrote on Twitter: “Egypt just witnessed the smoothest military coup. We’d be outraged if we weren’t so exhausted.”
The Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court ordered the dismissal of the parliament because, it said, one-third of its members were elected illegally. It also overturned a law that would have banned Mr. Shafiq and other top leaders of the Mubarak government from running for office.
The court said the law, approved by the parliament just last month, was not based on “objective grounds” and violated “the principle of equality.”
Mr. Shafiq’s response to the court ruling sounded to some like a victory speech.
“This historic ruling sends the message that the era of score-settling and tailor-made law is over,” he told supporters in Cairo, according to the AP.
Protests in Cairo
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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