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Egyptian Parliament Meets, Defying Military and Supreme Court

Egyptian Parliament Meets, Defying Military and Supreme Court
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Egypt’s dissolved Parliament met briefly today in adherence to a decree from recently elected President Mohamed Morsi and in defiance of a Supreme Constitutional Court order and of the country’s most senior generals. Lawmakers only met long enough to approve a proposal by the speaker, Saad el-Katatni of the Muslim Brotherhood, to refer the military’s dissolution of Parliament in June to the Court of Cassation, a high appeals court. Legislators were able to gather in the Parliament building in Cairo.

Egypt’s Parliament is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s party. The military’s call to dissolve it, backed up with a judicial order, and Mursi’s call to reconvene indicate nothing than less than the “long-running battle” between the Islamists and the military going back to the rule of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak, says the New York Times.

An Old Rivalry Made Apparent Again

In disbanding Egypt’s Parliament on the even of the first free elections in 30 years, the military also seized complete legislative power for itself until a new Parliament can be elected, and assigned itself a strong role in writing Egypt’s new constitution.

But BBC’s Jon Leyne says that Morsi’s decree, while an “assertion” of his new power as president, could actually end up being a “fairly meaningless gesture.” Any laws Parliament passes now are likely to be struck down by the courts.

Later on Monday, Morsi was seen seated beside Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the leader of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), during a graduation at a military college.

The Supreme Constitutional Court, saying that its role is “apolitical,” then decreed that the June 14th ruling to dissolve Parliament stood as “the law governing Egypt’s first democratic elections in more than six decades was unconstitutional because party members were allowed to contest seats in the lower house reserved for independents was binding and final.”

Morsi countered by defending his decree, saying that his calling for the election of a new Parliament “showed his respect for the court’s rulings.” The military followed with a statement, saying that it had disbanded Parliament and taken on new powers due to “necessity and the political, judicial and constitutional circumstances the country is going through.”

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Photo by Wessam Dewany

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5 comments

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4:38AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Good luck to Morsi and people of Egypt. The corrupt junta and the army do not want to let go of power they seized many decades ago at the behest of their Western masters. Now that they have freely chosen their leaders, the West (who keep bleating about political freedom and democracy - when the leaders suit their requirements) need to assist the new boys on the block rather than try to change them for different and more corrupt ones to their liking.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE - of the country rather than the remote puppitiers.

5:21AM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

Every time a new Constitution is being drawn up - no matter where - every citizen of every country which likes to be seen as Democratic, should follow the process with keen interest. It is a most educational exercise. In this case We, who are not citizens of Egypt can not affect the process, but we can learn a lot. Watch out mainly for "What Not To Do". Shine the strongest light at the point where the process gets "highjacked" out of the hands of the People. Constitution is the Peoples Document, The Fundamental Law setting the limits within which Government is expected to operate. When Governments overstep those limits, sooner or later People are left with only bad choices, like Tien An Men or Tahrir Squares and a seemingly endless list of other blood-soaked places around the world.

Learn about the Art of Writing a Constitution. Make no mistake! - Wherever you live, Your turn will come soon enough.

5:37PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

I support the elected leader forming a government, even if he is not a US hand picked replacement. The US wanted elections and they got them...just not the outcome that they wanted.

2:18PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Give Morsi some credit. It's brave and it's astute.

12:15PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

ty

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