Egypt court orders local councils dissolved
Cairo, June 28, 2011
An Egyptian court ruled on Tuesday to dissolve local councils that were elected under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, after protesters called for remnants of the old political order to be dismantled.
"The court issued a decision to dissolve local councils across the country," judge Kamal al-Lamaei told a Cairo administrative court.
The councils, like other elected bodies in Egypt, were filled with members of Mubarak's ruling party or his supporters who secured office during elections that were widely rigged when the former president ruled, analysts say.
The case started a few months ago when a group of citizens asked the government to dissolve the local councils, saying they were riven with corruption. The government did not respond so they took their demand to an administrative court.
The court's ruling is not final and the government can appeal the verdict before a higher court within 60 days.
The military rulers who took power after Mubarak dissolved parliament in February. Anger at widespread vote buying and ballot stuffing in a vote for the lower house last November helped fuel the popular anger that brought down Mubarak.
New political groups are forming ahead of legislative elections set for September and the army generals have pledged a presidential vote before year-end.
Democracy activists say those votes would be meaningless until the government entrenches democracy with a fresh constitution for the Arab world's most populous country. They are calling for a mass protest on July 8 to press their demands.
"This ruling is a test for the state. If the state quickly responds and says it accepts the verdict and calls for new elections for local councils, this could absorb some public anger," said political analyst and professor Hassan Nafaa.
"But if it does not, it could make people more upset and give them even more reason to go out on July 8," he added. – Reuters