By Dylan Stableford | The Lookout
(June 14th 2012, Thursday)

Egypt’s high court ordered the entire Egyptian parliament dissolved on Thursday, saying the January elections held there were unconstitutional.

The constitutional court in Cairo declared that one-third of the lower house of parliament was elected unconstitutionally, according to the Washington Post.

“The makeup of the entire chamber is illegal and, consequently, it does not legally stand,” the court said.

The high court also ruled that Ahmed Shafiq, an ally and former prime minister to ousted president Hosni Mubarak, can run for president against Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

The rulings—both of which favor Mubarak supporters—were met with an immediate outcry from protesters, who clashed with police outside the courthouse.

Egypt’s historic presidential election—the first since Mubarak’s ouster—begins Saturday.

“Both decisions empower the Mubarak status quo,” Omar Ashour, director of Middle East studies at Exeter University, told the Post, “which is no surprise, as the judges of the court were appointed by the latter, and represent a part of the so-called ‘deep-state.'”

Islamists secured a majority of seats in the lower house of parliament in the Jan. 7 elections.

Mubarak stepped down in February 2011 following more than two weeks of anti-government demonstrations—part of the so-called Arab spring.