Middle East

Mid-East media fear coup in Egypt

A protestor stands on a barricade of barbed wire outside the Constitutional Court
Image caption Military police stand guard outside the Constitutional Court before it delivered its ruling

Middle Eastern media see Egypt in the grip of a coup following the decision by the Supreme Court to declare recent parliamentary elections illegitimate.

''Political earthquake'', ''Shock in Egypt's political circles'', ''Coup atmosphere in Egypt'' are some of front-page headlines in the pan-Arab papers.

However, some Egyptian papers are supportive of the ruling. Rose al-Yusuf runs a headline saying: "The Constitutional Court corrects Egypt's compass."

Some commentators across the region describe the ruling as unconstitutional and predict that the ''peaceful revolution'' against the old order will continue. Others warn that a new president - to be chosen at the weekend - will take over a country which has neither a constitution nor parliament and which is ruled by a military council.

Majdi Hilmi in Egypt's Al-Wafd

We are now facing two coups, the first one is a constitutional one following the ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court to dissolve parliament… This may be followed by a military coup led by lower ranking officers in the army, given the fact that the military junta has failed in all the tasks assigned to it by the people.

Editorial in Egypt's Al-Jumhuriyah

The verdict issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court yesterday to dissolve parliament and declare the election unconstitutional opens the door for a new phase. The phase will require vigilance and readiness to prevent any attempts to disrupt the transitional period that started after the glorious revolution of 25 January.

Muhammad al-Hawari in Egypt's Al-Akhbar

Certainly the revolution will continue and the people are committed to their historic achievement - that is the peaceful revolution that brought down a regime that had dominated them for 30 years.

Amal Abd-al-Salam in Egypt's Al-Akhbar

Although these rulings will return us to point zero on many issues, they are much better than continuing on a path marred by mistakes. The most important thing is to start correctly.

Editorial in Jordan's Al-Ghad

With all the crimes that were committed during the era of former President Hosni Mubarak … the judiciary had no say. But today, in a manner that is not appropriate to it, the judiciary has taken the lead in the political game like the Mufti, the media and the military and has started serving the ousted dictators.

Editorial in Qatar's Al-Watan

The region and the world were looking forward to the future of Egypt to begin after the 25 January revolution, but this beginning which was delayed for more than a year had a new twist yesterday with the a verdict… that will put Egypt back to square one.

Abdallah Imran in UAE's Al-Khalij

Egypt in the minds of the Arabs is at a crossroads. The revolution of its people for the sake of a better tomorrow is at this moment entering the second phase of its legitimacy. The phase is vague and raises concerns both internally and externally.

Qasim Husayn in Bahrain's Al-Wasat

Arabs should celebrate the second week of June every year as the "Week of Arab courts" after the unique and tough verdicts issued this week. In Egypt Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison... and the Constitutional Court issued a verdict dissolving parliament... A life sentence was issued against the ousted Tunisian president in absentia... In Libya, the Supreme Court yesterday declared unconstitutional a law criminalising glorification of [former leader Muammar] Gaddafi.

Abd-al-Bari Atwan in pan-Arabic Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The Military Council has proved with the two verdicts that are very dangerous... that it is subtly playing around with political papers, which is terrifying. Egypt's Military Council seems to be orchestrating a coup against the Egyptian revolution by using "soft power" and not tanks and armoured vehicles... This, therefore, must be responded to in the same way.

Rafiq Khawri in Lebanon's Al-Anwar

Whoever wins the presidential run-off will collide with the strong reactions and enormous problems. Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq is shocked by the renewal of the revolution in the street. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) candidate Muhammed Mursi is shocked by the military. Either of the two will find himself president without a parliament, constitution and specific powers, he will take an oath before the military council and remain at its mercy.

Eyal Zisser in Israel's Israel Hayom

The ruling takes Egypt back to the zero point, and means renewal of the battle for Egypt. This battle will be settled in three rounds: Tahrir Square, where the Islamists will try to mass their supporters against the ruling; the presidential elections at the weekend in which the identity of the next president will be determined; and the new elections for parliament in which the Islamic parties will try to repeat their achievements in the last elections.

Yehuda Balanga in Israel's centrist Maariv

Following yesterday's ruling, Egypt is on its way to military rule rather than to democracy… In view of the recent weeks events in Tahrir Square and the Egyptian street's feeling that 'its revolution is being stolen', we expect another round of violence in Egypt, for if Shafiq, friend and candidate of the military leadership, is elected, it is reasonable that the young people of the revolution and the Islamic parties will not accept the results calmly.

BBC Monitoringselects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad. For more reports from BBC Monitoring,click here

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