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Troops blockade Cairo parliament

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Borzou Daragahi
Financial Times
June 15, 2012

Egypt’s emboldened military on Friday deployed troops around parliament and established checkpoints across the capital a day before presidential elections pitting one of their own against an Islamist outsider from a long-outlawed group.

Uniformed security officials barred lawmakers from entering the parliament building a day after an explosive court ruling cleared the way for the dissolution of a democratically elected legislature. The ruling also accorded all legislative and budgetary powers to the country’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which was preparing to unilaterally define the powers of the head of state due to be elected this weekend.

Local media reported that the leadership of the parliament received a formal order to dissolve the parliament and that lawmakers were being blocked from entering the building. Deputy parliamentary speaker Ashraf Thabet had said a day earlier that parliament would try to convene on Tuesday.

The moves by the military come on the eve of elections pitting the candidate of the decades-old Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, against Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force pilot and insider in the deposed regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

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This article was posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 1:50 am

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