Dismay in Egypt as court orders newly-elected parliament to be dissolved
CAIRO — Judges appointed by Hosni Mubarak dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament Thursday and ruled that Mubarak’s former prime minister can stand in the presidential runoff this weekend — setting the stage for the military and remnants of the old regime to stay in power.
The rulings effectively erase the tenuous progress from the past year’s troubled transition, leaving Egypt with no parliament and concentrating rule even more firmly in the hands of the military generals who took power after Mubarak’s ouster.
The fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which stands to lose the most from the rulings, called the moves a coup and vowed to rally the street against the ruling military and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, the presidential candidate seen by critics as a favorite of the generals and a symbol of Mubarak’s autocratic rule.
As night fell, a crowd of protesters was rapidly growing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, birthplace of the uprising that toppled Mubarak last year.
Senior Brotherhood leader and lawmaker Mohammed el-Beltagy said the rulings amounted to a “full-fledged coup.”
“This is the Egypt that Shafiq and the military council want and which I will not accept no matter how dear the price is,” he wrote on his Facebook page.