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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid