A constitutional court in Cairo ruled Thursday that the post-revolution Parliament was null and void. A separate decision overturned a measure that barred former regime officials from seeking office.
Political reformer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei told The Guardian newspaper in London that few gains were made since a revolution in 2011 ended Hosni Mubarak's grip on power.
"We are in a total mess, a confused process that, assuming good intentions, has led us nowhere except the place we were at 18 months ago but under even more adverse conditions," he said. "We are going to elect a president in the next couple of days without a constitution and without a Parliament."
Mohammed Morsi, a top official from the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, squares off this weekend against Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve in the Mubarak administration.
Some political movements in Egypt had objected to the growing role of Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. Others have objected to Shafiq's candidacy given his role in the former regime.
Meanwhile, an official source told Egyptian news service al-Ahram that military leaders had moved to prevent most people from entering the building housing the Parliament in Cairo.
"I think we need national reconciliation for the sake of the people in whose interests the revolution was staged," said ElBaradei.