Monday, June 11, 2012
Egypt's Mubarak Reportedly Near Death As Egypt Sizzles With Election Controversies
Egypt's deposed President Hosni Mubarak is reportedly near death.
He suffered another heart attack after being convicted of corruption and of ordering the killing of protesters in the February 2011 'Arab Spring' uprising.
Since then, he's been held in the hospital wing of Torah Prison outside Cairo.
The 84-year-old Mubarak has lost consciousness several times, has an irregular heartbeat and has been resuscitated using defibrillators.
Mubarak's final chapter comes at a critical time for Egypt. The two opposing candidates in the presidential runoff, ex-Air Force Commander and Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq , and Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood are scheduled for a final reckoning in about a week, with the winner to be announced on June 20th. The militray junta that rules Egypt now is scheleduled to turn over power to the newly elected civilian government on July 1st.
Morsi is favored to win. But before that happens, a number of political explosions could change the current race completely.
What passes for Egypt's highest court - the Supreme Constitutional Court - is scheduled to rule on Thursday whether the legislation that banned Mubarak regime figures from running for office is constitutional. If they rule that it is, Shafiq would be booted out of the race, there would be no runoff and the first round of voting would be repeated, which would mean more delay until the military Junta turns power over to a civilian government.
The court is also scheduled to rule on whether to uphold a lower court ruling that the laws governing parliamentary elections held last November were unconstitutional. If the court agrees that they were, you're likely talking about the attempted dissolution of the Islamist-dominated parliament or even a repeat of the election. The Muslim Brotherhood and the salafists would almost certainly go into the streets if that were tried, but it might just be that the junta would take this shot at retaining power.
All this, especially if it happens in the wake of Mubarak's demise promises an interesting few weeks ahead for Egypt.