Egypt supreme court calls for new parliamentary elections

By Alex Veeneman on June 14, 2012

Egypt’s parliament in 2012.
(Photo courtesy of the federal government)

The Supreme Court of Egypt has ruled that the country’s parliament needs to be dissolved, two days before its citizens vote in elections for a new president.

In a decision declaring the last parliamentary election unconstitutional, the Court had questioned the validity of some of the votes in the parliamentary elections that were conducted in 2011, shortly after former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power.

The candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Mursi, said according to a BBC report that the decision taken by the Court needs to be respected. “I respect the decision of the Supreme Constitutional Court in that I respect the institutions of the state and the principle of separation of powers,” Mursi told Egyptian television per the Agence France-Presse agency according to the BBC.

Other leaders expressed concerns that armed forces in the country could expand, with a senior Muslim Brotherhood politician Essam Al-Arian saying according to the BBC that the ruling may send Egypt in a “dark tunnel”.

In a separate decision, the former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, could be on the ballot for the June 16 and 17 votes. “Keeping the military candidate and overturning the elected parliament after granting the military police the right to arrest is a complete coup,” said Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a moderate Islamist according to a report from Reuters. “Whoever thinks that millions of youths will let it pass is deluding themselves.”

Saad Aboud of the Karama Party (Karama meaning dignity in Arabic) told the British newspaper The Guardian that it signifies a coup in the country’s political life. “This is a politicized verdict that constitutes a coup in political life,” Aboud said. “With the other verdict allowing Shafiq to continue in the race, today means the death of the revolution, and it is now imperative that we reconstruct it.”

Saturday’s vote is a runoff of the presidential vote of round 1 having occurred May 23rd and 24th.

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