Former presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh
on Thursday declared that allowing Ahmed Shafiq – the military's preferred presidential candidate – to vie for Egypt's highest office while dissolving the elected parliament and granting military police the right to arrest civilians represented a de facto "military coup."
"Anyone who believes that Egypt's millions of revolutionary youth will allow this to pass must be delusional," Abul-Fotouh declared.
His statements came after the High Constitutional Court declared Egypt's Political Disenfranchisement Law – which had threatened Shafiq, a Mubarak-era minister, with disqualification from the presidential race – unconstitutional. The court ruling will allow Shafiq to contest the presidency against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi in a runoff vote slated for 16 and 17 June.
A second ruling on Thursday, meanwhile, found Egypt's Parliamentary Elections Law – which regulated last year's legislative polls – to be similarly unconstitutional. The latter verdict means that both the People's Assembly and the consultative Shura Council (the lower and upper houses of Egypt's parliament) will likely be dissolved in advance of fresh elections.
Abul-Fotouh came in fourth place in the first round of Egypt's hotly-contested presidential elections last month.