Egypt's Constitutional Court has just ruled that its month-long parliamentary election was unconstitutional, ordering the entire lower house of Parliament to be dissolved. The court declared that one-third of the Parliamentary seats were voted on using different rules, making the entire body "illegitimate." That means the entire multi-step, multi-party election that began way back in November of 2011 is now invalid and new elections will have to be held.
The ruling is being referred to a "coup" in some circles, because the loss of Parliament means that control of the government will remain in the hands of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the panel of former military leaders that has managed Egypt since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. The final round of the presidential elections meant to replace him takes place this weekend, which would have also meant the end of their rule and a final transition to the nation's first complete democratically elected government. Now the status of the country is up in the air. As The BBC's foreign editor Jon Williams noted on Twitter: "Even by #Egypt's standards, dissolving Parliament incredible. Anywhere else would be seen as coup. In Cairo, passes for normal business!"