Dissolved parliament means 'back to the old days,' Egyptians fear
An Egyptian court ruling that dissolved parliament has shocked and outraged many of the country's citizens, prompting an outpouring on the Internet to vent about the decision.
"So the revolution, the elections, the people's assembly and everything were a play. We're back to the old days," one Egyptian Twitter user identified as Marwan Hazem complained.
The euphoria that poured out of Egypt as people packed the polls last month for the country's first free presidential election turned sour as news broke that the results of its earlier parliamentary elections were now out the window, with many Egyptians saying they never should have voted at all.
Dissolving the parliament proves "I was right when I decided to boycott these elections," Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad said on Twitter.
The court decision comes as Egyptians disillusioned by having to choose between Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafik, once part of the government under ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, have pushed for a boycott of this weekend's presidential runoff election.
"These voters -- representing a slight majority of those who cast ballots in the first round last month -- are liberals, socialists, moderate Islamists and others who fear a landmark moment for democracy is being lost to established, unimaginative voices," The Times’ Jeffrey Fleishman wrote earlier this week.
The new ruling only added fuel to boycott backers, who argue that elections are futile while Egypt remains under military leadership. One Twitter user, identified as an Egyptian environmentalist, argued that the country was "engineering elections."
"It's like fixing a broken car. Tinker tinker tinker until it goes where you want it to go," @HuriyaAkhdar wrote.
Many dubbed the court decision an attempted coup to help Shafik. "If Shafik wins and the Islamists lose parliament, the old guard would return to power in what may essentially be a repudiation of last year's uprising that overthrew Mubarak," Fleishman wrote Thursday.
Others, including observers outside Egypt, argued that the controversial court ruling could actually end up boosting Morsi. "It may backfire and drive angry voters to Morsi this weekend," former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley opined.
-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles
Photo: A taxi is attacked during a protest Thursday against presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo. Credit: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images