This just out:
- EGYPT STATE TV SAYS PARLIAMENT NO LONGER LIGITIMATE
- EGYPT STATE TV CITES CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ON PARLIAMENT
And more from Reuters:
A constitutional court ruling on Thursday means that the whole of the lower house of Egypt's parliament will be dissolved and a new election will have to be held, the court's head Farouk Soltan told Reuters by telephone after the ruling was issued.
"The ruling regarding parliament includes the dissolution of the lower house of parliament in its entirety because the law upon which the elections were held is contrary to rules of the constitution," he said, speaking two days before another election to pick a new president.
Soltan said the ruling was binding on all institutions of state, adding that it would be up to the executive to call for the new election that he said would take place.
In other words, the military is once again preparing to take over. A big hint came yesterday via AP:
Egypt's Justice Ministry on Wednesday gave the country's military police and intelligence agents the right to arrest civilians over wide range of suspected crimes, including "resisting authorities," sparking charges that the country's military rulers want to extend their grip on power even after handing over to civilians.
The decision comes during heightened tensions in Egypt, three days before a highly polarized presidential runoff election and a day before rulings by the country's highest court that could dissolve the Islamist-dominated parliament and even cancel the Saturday-Sunday presidential vote.
The decision, published in the official gazette, would remain in effect until a new constitution is in place. The process of writing a constitution has hit snags. On Tuesday the Islamist-dominated parliament voted on an assembly to draft the document, but liberals boycotted the session. An earlier attempt to name the body collapsed because of opposition from liberals. Both times they charged that Islamists were unfairly dominating the procedure.
Military analysts said the military arrest powers were a temporary measure intended to fill a security vacuum resulting from last year's uprising, when the police force collapsed and disappeared from the streets during the first days of the mass protests.
"The police force has not recovered completely, and security is not back," said Sayyed Hashim, a former military prosecutor, in a TV interview.
Rights activists warned the new decision creates a reproduction of notorious emergency laws that expired recently and said that it also could extend the rule of the generals, even if they transfer power to civilians on time by the end of the month.
"This is a declaration of martial law, as if we are living in banana republic," said Gamal Eid, a prominent rights lawyer.
So things are going from bad to worse? Yep. As Art Cashin has been warning for quite a while, here is his latest assessment:
Weekend Elections - Everyone is talking about Sunday’s Greek elections but there are also key elections in France and Egypt.
The Greek election has been made somewhat less important by the “still under construction” Spanish bailout. The lack of a clear quid pro quo up front for Spain opens the door to renegotiations for all the other European bailouts.
Whichever party wins in Greece will have latitude to negotiate a less onerous deal. That would also make a coalition government easier - “we were all part of easing the peoples burden.”
The French elections may make Europe less functional. They will likely strengthen Hollande’s hand in reversing the Sarkozy “reforms”. He has already rolled back the retirement age to 60 from 62. The Germans are not happy.
The most important election this weekend may have nothing to do with the Eurozone - at least directly. The election in Egypt may change the face of the Middle East. The implications to Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia are enormous. Will the most populous Arab nation become a theocracy? This will be some weekend.
And as Egypt falls to the counter-revolution, this time military, 2012 is once again nothing more than a repeat of 2011.