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Issue #1552      20 June 2012

Brotherhood hits out at “coup”

Egyptian judges appointed by Hosni Mubarak before his removal from office have dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament and ruled his former prime minister eligible for the presidential election this weekend.

The politically charged rulings dealt a heavy blow to the Muslim Brotherhood, with one senior member calling the decisions a “full-fledged coup”.

The group vowed to rally the public against Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under Mr Mubarak.

In its ruling, the court said a third of the legislature was elected illegally and as a result, “the makeup of the entire chamber is illegal and, consequently, it does not legally stand.”

The court also said Mr Shafiq could stay in the run-off election, rejecting a law passed by parliament last month that barred prominent figures from the old regime from running.

In last year’s parliamentary elections the Brotherhood became the biggest party with nearly half the seats. The rulings take away the Brotherhood’s power base in parliament.

Shafiq’s rival in the Saturday-Sunday run-off, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, said he was unhappy about the rulings but accepted them.

Senior Brotherhood leader and MP Mohammed el-Beltagy was less diplomatic, saying the judges’ action 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.

The court also derailed the broader transition to democracy, said rights activist Hossam Bahgat.

“The entire process has been undermined beyond repair,” Mr Bahgat said.

“It is a soft military coup that unfortunately many people will support out of fear of an Islamist takeover.”

The government gave security forces the right to arrest civilians for a range of crimes such as disrupting traffic or the economy.

Morning Star  

Next article – Canada, bowing to oil companies, sacks ocean scientists

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