Muslim Brotherhood rejects dissolution of Egyptian parliament
The Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the military’s decision to dissolve the Egyptian parliament and has demanded that a referendum be held on the issue.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which secured the biggest bloc of seats in two rounds of parliamentary elections in December 2011 and January 2012, issued a statement on Saturday saying “dangerous days” were ahead and the political gains of the revolution that toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011 could be wiped out.
The parliament should only be dissolved by a popular referendum, and the order to dissolve the assembly “represents a coup against the whole democratic process,” the statement added.
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) — the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood — said in another statement that the decision showed the military council’s desire to “take possession of all powers despite the will of the people.”
Egypt’s ruling military council formally announced the dissolution of the parliament on Saturday following a Supreme Court ruling earlier in the week.
Some critics have compared the move to the beginning of Algeria’s civil war in 1992, when the army cancelled an election an Islamic party was winning.
Egyptians are casting their ballots in a two-day presidential runoff election that began on Saturday and runs until Sunday which pits the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Mohammed Morsi, against former Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq.
More than 50 million people are eligible to vote.
Early results of expatriates’ votes show Morsi has won 78 percent.
The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has vowed to hand over power to the winner of the election by July 1.
Many Egyptians fear that Shafiq is the undeclared candidate of the junta and that the military-appointed election committee overseeing the election will rig the vote in favor of Shafiq.
Angry Egyptian protesters have held many demonstrations across the country in which they urged the authorities to ban all remnants of the Mubarak regime from running as candidates in elections.