(AP) — Judges appointed by Hosni Mubarak dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament Thursday and ruled his former prime minister eligible for the presidential runoff election this weekend – setting the stage for the military and remnants of the old regime to stay in power.
The politically charged rulings dealt a heavy blow to the fundamentalist Islamic Brotherhood, with one senior member calling the decisions a "full-fledged coup," and the group vowed to rally the public against Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under Mubarak.
The decision by the Supreme Constitutional Court effectively erased the tenuous progress from Egypt's troubled transition in the past year, leaving the country with no parliament and concentrating power even more firmly in the hands of the generals who took over from Mubarak.
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Several hundred people gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square after the rulings to denounce the action and rally against Shafiq, the presidential candidate seen by critics as a symbol of Mubarak's autocratic rule.