In a storyline that couldn’t have been predicted even days ago, Egypt's Supreme Court ruled yesterday that one-third of parliament's members were unconstitutionally elected.
Following the ruling, which comes on the heels of another controversial decision validating former Mubarak minister Ahmed Shafiq's candidacy, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has ordered the parliament's lower house dissolved.
Combined, these decisions appear to be a consolidation of power by the SCAF in the lead-up to the presidential election run-offs this weekend.
That these decisions are deeply concerning for the future of Egypt's fledgling democracy cannot be overstated. A judiciary appointed by the ousted regime has just ruled to invalidate the parliament chosen by the people in Egypt's first post-Mubarak elections. Moreover, this ruling is predicated on a constitution set to be rewritten by a committee chosen by that same parliament – which now likely faces dissolution.
The impact on this weekend's run-off cannot be overstated, as the SCAF-Muslim Brotherhood friction underlying these decisions is mirrored in the race's two remaining candidates: Ahmed Shafiq, who served as Mubarak's last prime minister, and Mohamed Morsi, official candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood.
While the outcome remains to be seen, here are a few possibilities for this weekend's vote:
• Morsi, fearful of a Shafiq victory, withdraws at the last minute under the cover of opposition to the judiciary's decision.
• Voters turn out en masse to support Morsi due to the perception that the Brotherhood is the only organization that can prevent further consolidation of power by the SCAF.
• Egyptians, sick and tired of the continued violence and uncertainty and preferring a return to the status quo over the turmoil Egypt has seen post-revolution, vote for Shafiq.
Of course, knowing the way Egypt elects, the outcome will just as likely be unpredictable. In the interim, stay tuned to Egypt Elects (@Egypt_Elects) and PolicyMic for updates and analysis on the election.