News / Middle East

Egyptian Court Ruling Sparks Anger, Election Doubts

An Egyptian boy peers out of barbed wire during a protest in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday June 14, 2012.An Egyptian boy peers out of barbed wire during a protest in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday June 14, 2012.
x
An Egyptian boy peers out of barbed wire during a protest in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday June 14, 2012.
An Egyptian boy peers out of barbed wire during a protest in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday June 14, 2012.
VOA News
Tempers flared and protesters took to the streets after Egypt's constitutional court issued twin rulings, sparking confusion just days ahead of a presidential run-off election.

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court Thursday rejected a parliamentary law that barred officials from the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak from running for office, clearing the way for former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq to contest the upcoming run-off.  Shafiq placed second to the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi, in the first round of voting in late May.

The court also ruled that one-third of the Egyptian legislature was elected illegally, making the entire parliament unconstitutional.  A court spokesman said, as a result, the lower house of parliament - the People's Assembly - must be dissolved.

Word of the rulings was met with anger and distrust on the streets outside the courthouse, sparking chants demanding the downfall of what was termed "the military regime."

Some Islamist politicians decried the ruling, saying it amounted to a military coup.

One protester, Mohamed Abdullah, told VOA it shows the powers that be are looking for ways to stop change.

"Today it's clear that everyone wants to hand over power to Shafiq," said Abdullah. "The deal with Shafiq is he's like a cat with nine lives. Shafiq is Mubarak's dog. He's the one protecting the regime."

Another demonstrator, Mohamed Hussein, called the ruling an outrage.

"By what logic can we return the tyrannical old regime?. Where is the justice in that," asked Hussein. "We had a revolution and no revolution in the world brings back a tyrannical regime."


Speaking to supporters in Cairo Thursday, Ahmed Shafiq called the ruling "historic" and urged all Egyptians to take part in the polls.  He promised Egypt would return to greatness, saying its future would be written now.

He also rejected the use of violence, saying there is no need to use threats, and said he would respect the rights of all Egyptians to protest.  

"The era of political score settling has ended and the individualization of the law or the use of the nation's statutes to achieve the goals of a single group against a person or another group has now gone forever,'' Shafiq said.

Some political activists, like Mohamed Fawaz with the 6th of April Movement, say despite some shock and anger on the streets, the court rulings were expected.

"It is very logical that the law [to disqualify Ahmed Shafiq from the elections] was refused," said Fawaz. "I have always expected that the law will be found void. We are talking about all the organizations of the country working together so that Ahmed Shafiq would become president, to return the Mubarak regime once again and to continue the military rule that has been going for 60 years."  

The court ruling means the run-off presidential election pitting Shafiq against the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi on Saturday and Sunday will proceed.  What happens next with Egypt's parliament is less clear.


Photos from the Protest in Cairo

Loading...

Lawyer Tarek Nagida says the country's military council (SCAF) will now have to step in while parliament steps down.

"The parliament has to suspend its sessions because it lost its legitimacy by losing one-third of its members and, in this case, the parliament has to wait until the ruling power calls for new elections for the third of the seats of the parliament," he said.

At least one senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party warned Thursday that Egypt was entering a "dark tunnel."

Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh said he was especially concerned about decree issued Wednesday that allows military police to detain civilians.  Some critics say the move essentially places Egypt under martial law.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

 

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid