The final round of Egypt’s presidential elections, held June 16–17, was supposed to mark the culmination of Egypt's democratic transition, which began when the military pushed Hosni Mubarak aside on February 11, 2011. Instead, the showdown between Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafik was not even the most exciting event in Egypt over the past week.
On June 14 the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the election law for individual seats in the Peoples’ Assembly was unconstitutional, dissolving the lower house of parliament. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) determined that this ruling applied to both houses—a case is pending against the Shura Council election law—thus erasing the most democratically legitimate parliament in Egypt’s history. By decree, the SCAF reassumed the legislative powers it handed back to the new parliament last winter.
Then late Sunday night, just as votes were being counted, the military leaders released amendments to last year’s constitutional declaration. SCAF representatives said they waited to release the constitutional addendum so as not to affect voting, but timing also coincided with early projections indicating the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi was in the lead.
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