A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Now, This is Just Getting Bloody Ridiculous . . .

 When we started the day, Egypt's Administrative Court and its Electoral Commission were at odds over whether Ahmad Shafiq could run for President. Now we're entering absurd territory, not to mention potentially explosive: a provincial Administrative Court has canceled the Presidential elections. This doesn't look likely to stand: it was a subordinate court at Benha in Qalyubiyya Governorate, just north of Cairo, and it said that the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) did not have the constitutional authority to call elections, hence they were uncalled. But the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which does whatever it damned well pleases have such authority, delegated the authority to SPEC. The Benha court's ruling will be appealed in Cairo tomorrow, and even if it ends up in the Supreme Constitutional Court, the head of that Court, Faruq Sultan, is also President of SPEC.

Given the violence last week and growing suspicions among Islamists about SCAF's intentions, this could be an explosive moment if it isn't reversed quickly. SPEC has already said it's ignoring the ruling. (Not great in terms of respect for the rule of law, but probably wise.)

Can this whole thing get any more bizarre? (I'm not sure I want to know the answer to that.)

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