The high court, packed with sympathizers of the ousted president, appears to be engaged in a frontal legal assault on the Muslim Brotherhood, the once outlawed organization whose members swept to power in Parliament this spring and whose candidate was the front-runner for the presidency as well. The presidential election runoff is scheduled to go ahead Saturday and Sunday.
The ruling — which critics said amounted to a back-door coup — means that whoever emerges as the winner of the runoff scheduled for this weekend will take power without the check of a sitting Parliament and could even exercise some influence over the election of a future Parliament. It vastly compounds the stakes in the presidential race, raises questions about the ruling military council’s commitment to democracy, and makes uncertain the future of a constitutional assembly recently formed by the Parliament as well.