CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's highest court insisted Monday that a critical ruling issued last month, that the Islamist-dominated parliament was illegally elected, is final and binding. This sets up a showdown between the military, which acted on the court ruling and dissolved the legislature, and newly-elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who has ordered it to reconvene.
The new crisis means that the political instability that followed the February 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak will continue. Here are some key events from nearly 17 months of turmoil and transition.
Jan. 25, 2011 — Egyptians hold nationwide demonstrations against the authoritarian rule of Mubarak, who has led the country for three decades, in what would become known as the Arab Spring.
Jan. 26 — A large security force moves into Cairo's Tahrir Square, beating and arresting protesters, using rubber bullets and tear gas. Three protesters are killed — among the first of what will become about 900 dead in clashes in the uprising.
Jan. 28 — Protesters burn down the ruling party's headquarters and the military is deployed. Police virtually vanish from Egypt's streets, leading to a wave of looting, robbery and arson.
Feb. 11 — Mubarak steps down and turns power over to the military. Two days later the body of top generals, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, dissolves parliament and suspends the constitution, meeting two key demands of protesters.
Nov. 28 — Voting begins in Egypt's first parliamentary elections since Mubarak's ouster. The election is staged over a period of several weeks and concludes in January with nearly half the seats won by the previously banned Muslim Brotherhood.
April 20, 2012 — The presidential campaign officially begins. A first round of voting on May 23-24 sees Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under Mubarak, emerging as the top two vote-getters.
June 14 — The Supreme Constitutional Court rules that a third of the Islamist-dominated lower and more powerful house of parliament, the People's Assembly, was elected illegally and that this rendered the whole chamber invalid. The military swiftly closes down parliament.
June 16-17 — Egyptians vote in a runoff election between Morsi and Shafiq. The generals issue a "constitutional declaration" giving them sweeping authority to maintain their grip on power and limiting the powers of the president.
June 24 — Election officials declare Morsi the winner of Egypt's first free election with 51.7 percent of the vote.
June 29 — Morsi, now president-elect, delivers a rousing speech in Tahrir Square, vowing to fight on behalf of the people and defying the ruling generals by reading a symbolic oath of office a day early at the site where the uprising was born.
June 30 — Morsi takes his formal oath before the Supreme Constitutional Court.
July 8 — Morsi issues a surprise decree overruling the generals' dissolution of parliament. He makes no mention of the court ruling. Hours later the generals convene an "emergency meeting."
July 9 — The court meets in its own emergency session and insists that its ruling is final and binding. Saad el-Katatni, the Muslim Brotherhood speaker of the People's Assembly, says that the legislature will nonetheless reconvene on Tuesday. The parliament building remains under police guard as Brotherhood supporters gather outside.