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Egypt’s armed forces take over: ‘Smoothest military coup’ (WORLD TRIBUNE) CAIRO, EGYPT 06/15/12)Source: http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2012/06/15/egypts-armed-forces-take-over-smoothest-military-coup/ WORLD TRIBUNE WORLD TRIBUNE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
CAIRO — Egypt’s military regime has consolidated its power on the eve of presidential elections after the nation’s top court overruled the elections in February that had positioned the Muslim Brotherhood to control the government.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has taken over legislative authority and said it would help draft Egypt’s next constitution.

The military regime’s announcement on June 14 came hours after Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court invalidated parliamentary elections in February 2012, won by the Muslim Brotherhood.

“All this equals a complete coup d’etat through which the military council is writing off the most noble stage in the nation’s history,” Mohammed El Beltagy, a Brotherhood leader and parliamentarian, said. The constitutional court also approved the presidential campaign of former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, supported by the military. The court overruled a law that banned members of the former regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak from running for public office. Shafik faces Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Mursi, in a runoff for president on June 16.

“The age of settling accounts is over and gone,” Shafik said. “The age of using the law and the country’s institutions against any individual is over.”

The military regime, steadily expanding its influence over the last year, was also given new powers to arrest civilians. On June 14, a Justice Ministry ruling came into force that would severely restrict protests despite the termination of martial law on May 31.

“The Justice Ministry’s decision undermines the civil foundation of the Egyptian nation and violates the fundamental democratic rights of Egyptians to freedom of expression, marches and demonstrations,” a statement by 17 Egyptian human rights groups said.

Opposition and human rights activists said the military regime was determined to retain power regardless of who wins the presidential elections. They said the military has deployed thousands of troops to counter massive protests expected over the next few days.

“Egypt just witnessed the smoothest military coup,” Hussam Bahgat, a representative of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said. “We’d be outraged if we weren’t so exhausted.” (Copyright © 2012 East West Services, Inc. 06/15/12)

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