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Egypt At Center Of News World–Chaos And Crisis Unfold As Military Looks To Seize Power Again

June 14, 2012

Last night and into this morning I was listening to the BBC for hours as updates and reports flowed from Egypt in anticipation of the Supreme Court rulings that were to be handed down.  For weeks there was a general sense that nothing good could come from the rulings–if they went in the direction they did today.  It seemed in some ways–over the past months–that a military dictatorship was so far away in the past.  It wasn’t of course, but the moves that had taken place were extraordinary.

And then…..

Egypt’s highest court declared the parliament invalid Thursday, and the country’s interim military rulers promptly declared full legislative authority.  The ruling was based on some of the seats being contested on a proportional list system, with others on the first-past-the post system.  The ruling went so far as to say all the articles making up the law that regulated parliamentary elections are invalid.

The nuts and bolts of this does not allow for Egypt to find its way forward with democratic leanings, but instead will see more riots, protests, and probably worse.  Omn top of everything else there is now a most credible reason to question the independence of the judiciary.

The Muslim Brotherhood has every reason to be angry and quite shaken by this development. Suddenly the parliament they controlled has disappeared, and the legitimacy of their presidential candidate is now called into question.   The election which allowed the Brotherhood seats in parliament was a first, and very much to be applauded as a way to demonstrate how democratic processes can work.

It now appears that legislative power reverts back to the military junta that has been ruling Egypt in the transition period.  It all seems likely that the new president, to be elected this weekend, will pledge his oath before the military council.  The original plan was for the president to take the oath before parliament.

All the gains made by the Muslim Brotherhood appear to be disappearing into thin air.  This is not right, nor should it be allowed to stand.

An electoral process was in place, and once observed by all parties, the results needed to stand in order for the democratic process to function.  With the actions of the court and the military today, one has to wonder if Egypt has not moved backwards to the days when Mubarak was still in power.

A very sad day in Egypt, for sure.

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