03/07/2013, 00.00
EGYPT

Morsi accepts court's decision to halt election process

After saying he would appeal the ruling, the president decides to accept it. El Baradei warns of "Ignorance and manipulation". Morsi drops below 50 per cent in opinion polls in a country that has high unemployment and an economy that is hurting.

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Cairo Administrative Court said the electoral law promulgated by President Mohammed Morsi needed to be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court. Initially, the president had said he would appeal but then relented, saying he would respect the ruling.

Last month, he had announced that the elections for the People's Assembly would take place in four stages over two months, starting on 22 April.

The main opposition coalition said it would boycott the polls because the electoral law favoured the president's Islamist allies, especially the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi's change of heart stems from a desire not to increase the resentment in the population. In fact, a number of observers have pointed out that his popularity has dropped below 50 per cent over the past few months.

For his part opposition leader Mohammed El Baradei noted that "Ignorance and manipulation of the essence of the rule of law are the characteristics of a fascistic state".

After the fall of Hosni Mubarak two years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups have used Morsi's electoral success to manipulate the constitution and election law to boost their power.

Meanwhile, unemployment is up, at 13 per cent, and the economy is hurting. Disillusionment with Islamists is also setting in among ordinary Egyptians.

Young people and activists who fought to see Mubarak fall now see their ideals of democracy and equality betrayed by the growing Islamisation of Egyptian society and the rise of an authoritarian state.

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