Egypt activists blast constitutional court rulings on parliament, presidency

Ahram Online, Thursday 14 Jun 2012

Revolutionary activists express outrage over Thursday's court rulings dissolving Egypt's parliament and rejecting 'political disenfranchisement'

Egypt's activist expect a new wave of revolution (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian revolutionary activists have responded angrily to Thursday's controversial High Constitutional Court rulings.

For one, the court found Egypt's Political Disenfranchisement Law – which had threatened presidential finalist and Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq with disqualification from the presidential race – unconstitutional.

A second ruling, meanwhile, found Egypt's Parliamentary Elections Law – which regulated last year's legislative polls – to be similarly unconstitutional. The verdict means that both the People's Assembly and consultative Shura Council, the lower and upper houses of Egypt's parliament, will likely be dissolved in advance of fresh elections.  

"This ruling is provocative," Ahmed Maher, founding member of the April 6 Youth Movement (which played a prominent role in last year's Tahrir Square uprising), told Ahram Online. The contentious verdict, Maher added, will "pave the way for the reanimation of the ousted Mubarak regime."

Maher went on to criticise the performance of Egypt's Islamist-led, post-revolution parliament, but noted that its dissolution would hand full legislative authority over to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which, he said, would have "grave political consequences in the future."

The court's ruling against the Political Disenfranchisement Law, meanwhile, will allow Shafiq to contest the presidency against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi in a runoff vote on 16 and 17 June.

"It doesn't matter if Shafiq runs for president or parliament is dissolved," Khaled Abdel-Hamid, member of the Youth for Justice and Freedom revolutionary coalition, told Ahram Online. "The revolution will choose its new president."

For her part, Sally Toma, member of the Revolution Youth Coalition, told Ahram Online: "The parliament only served the Islamists, who dominated it." She went on to criticise the Muslim Brotherhood, which had controlled almost half of the People's Assembly, for standing against the idea of a 'civil presidential council.'

In recent weeks, revolutionary groups had called for the creation of a presidential council mandated with administering a transitional period until a new constitution could be drawn up.

"This is a soft military coup," Toma said of Thursday's court rulings. "Legislative powers have been transferred to the SCAF because of the Brotherhoods' selfishness. They made us lose the revolution and they lost everything."

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