The Arab Spring was supposed to be the transition from dictatorship to freedom. It has become clear that it is a shift from one kind of tyranny to another — that of Sunni supremacists led by the Muslim Brotherhood. In Egypt, the military junta that was supposed to be the temporary, transitional bridge from Mubarak to “democracy” has decided not to be so temporary.
The high court, which the military regime controls, has invalidated Parliament — that would be the legislature to which Egyptians elected Islamists by about a 4-to-1 margin. It has seized full legislative authority for itself. It will now hand-pick a 100-person assembly to write the new constitution (rather than leave that task to the Brotherhood/Salafist-dominated lawmakers elected by the people). Yes, the second and final round of the presidential election will still go forward — pitting the Brotherhood candidate against the Mubarak regime candidate. But the oddity of the presidential election was always that it was being held before the constitution, which will define the presidency’s powers, was written. If a new constitution is actually written, expect the presidency to be a ceremonial post, especially if the Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi, prevails — as he almost certainly will if the election is above board.
CNN has the breaking details about the coup.