Did SCAF scupper Egypt's elections again?
Egypt's dawn of change seems as elusive as Syria's stability, delayed once again, as reversals, false starts, and postponements punctuate the meandering journey to a democratic future. Revolutionary rescue from chaos and corruption stalls with yet another spanner in the works (no parliament) in a palimpsest of constitutional complications and prevarications that have led people to ask why the political journey since Tahrir Square has been managed so incompetently.
The parliamentary elections have been retroactively made null and void. What next – will the revolution be declared fiction, and the presidential elections called off? Nothing would surprise the Egyptian electorate by now, stunned by this latest flabbergasting ruling but equally prepared for more dramatic twists and tugs in the journey that has involved a country making it up as they went along. Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) have been the blind leading the blinder expectant citizens.
By now the latest ruling by Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) is slowly sinking in to a numb Egyptian people. The parliamentary elections held last year were "illegitimate". Egypt now houses a dissolved lower house of parliament. This abnegation followed the strike-out of some of the articles of Egypt’s parliament law, that then required a undermining the entire parliament. Political flux mean there is no robust parliamentary infrastructure. The legislative ruling power once again falls back into the military hands of SCAF after they gave up power to the elected parliament in January.
So the President who is supposed to be elected this coming week in the first free presidential election might be without a parliament? Who is responsible for this farce and what are they doing about it? The military council has always pulled the presidential puppet strings in the land of the Nile.
Egypt’s transitionally ruling body the SCAF have announced an emergency meeting to discuss the dissolution of the country’s Islamist-dominated parliament. Yet having already proven themselves to be an incompetent force to move Egypt into a new phase and democratic future, can SCAF be trusted to act now for the advancement of Egypt?
The excision of the parliament that contained an Islamist stronghold is a blow to the Muslim Brotherhood. Many are asking if the revolution is dead when the 'people's assembly' is swept from under their feet. The parliamentary vote had delivered long quelled Islamists into a pole position in the legislature. And the Brotherhood had hoped for a repeat success this weekend in the presidential play-off.
But what's to say SCAF wouldn't anul any 'people-chosen' President either. Democracy is still an illusion for a land in denial.
Some suspect foulplay from those who want to dismantle the Muslim Brotherhood’s chance at power. Maybe those that kept the Brotherhood suppressed for years have discovered constitutional loop-holes (or invented them) to keep the Islamists under the military thumb. Shafiq, Muhammed Morsi's rival is after all a military man. And after all Shafiq is safe.
In a separate ruling, the court had decided that former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq could continue to contest this weekend's presidential run-off in the election against the Brotherhood's Muhammed Morsi. It rejected as unconstitutional a law that would have barred Mr Shafiq from standing. In Egypt it seems that what is unconstitional is being called by whimsy.
But new Egypt does not really prefer the military to Muslims does it? Thursday, outside the constitutional court, protesters returned to Tahrir chanting: "Down, down with military rule".
Just now, the Muslim Brotherhood predicts a riot, warning that Egypt could be entering "very difficult days that might be more dangerous than the last days of Mubarak's rule".
What are your thoughts on this latest court ruling in Egypt that leaves a country about to appoint a president without a parliament?
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- Through manipulation, Egypt's military comes out ahead
- Things fall apart: Egypt's Tahrir Square descends into chaos yet again