Although some legal experts had already warned about the nature of the verdicts of the Constitutional Court, few people thought that they would dare dissolving the Paliament, and hence, plunging the country in a new phase of political and legal chaos. We will have to wait for the dust to settle in order to know the extent of yesterday’s decision. But here there is an effort to answer the main questions that the verdict arise.
-Was this a coup d’Etat? Yes, but only partially, since new elections will be hold to elect one third of the Parliament. At least, in theory. Although some might fear that the SCAF (the Military Junta) will dragg its feet and postpone indefinitely the elections, I doubt that the Egyptian people will accept that.
-Did SCAF interfere in the verdict? Most likely. However, as I explained extensively in my previous post (in Spanish), the Constitutional Court had their own reasons to dissolve a Parliament that was hostile to its role in the political system.
-How does this affect the run-off? It may increase the odds of a victory by Morsi, but only if the elections were fair. The verdicts will help to mobilize all Islamist voters, included those salafist who don’t like the Brotherhood. It could also have the same effect on some secular and pro-revolutionary voters who thought about absteining from voting since they feared the monopoly of power by the Brotherhood. Now it is more evident that the biggest danger to democracy is the SCAF and its candidate, Ahmed Shafiq.
-What will happen with the Constitutional Assembly? We still don’t know. The ruling does not say it, and the SCAF has not offered publicly its own interpretation of the verdict yet. Nonetheless, it is quite likely that the generals appoint their own Constitutional Assembly in order to guarantee that the new Carta Magna respects its vital interests. Although it would be completely undemocratic, they would legitimize it by exploiting the fears of secular Egyptians of a theocratic Constitution under the Brotherhood power.
-Can we expect a new big wave of demonstrations? Not now. The elections are too close, and people will wait until the name of the winner is known. If Shafiq wins, many Egyptians will assume that this is the result of electoral fraud. The question is whether the Brotherhood would join hands with secular revolutionaries in Tahrir unleashing a new revolutionary wave.
-Is this the end of the Revolution? Probably not. Egyptian revolutionaries have shown their resilience and determination during the last year of violent confrontations with the SCAF. However, in order to win, this time they need to learn from the mistakes of the past and unite behind a common purpose (I talked about these mistakes and this previous post)