Egyptian President Decrees Return of Parliament

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has ordered that the country’s Parliament, disbanded by military degree on June 16, be reconvened. It is a move sure to lead to a confrontation between Morsi and the generals who had formally handed over power to him on June 30.

Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood party, also decreed that new parliamentary elections be held within 60 days of the adoption of a new Egyptian constitution.

Commentators say that it is not clear if Morsi, as president, has the power to reconvene the Parliament.

The Guardian described Morsi’s decree as a “surprise” that “may have been inspired in large part by a desire to assert his authority in the face of the military,” with which the Muslim Brotherhood has a longstanding enmity. But Morsi’s move can also be seen as “contradictory,” said the BBC’s Jon Leyne, as the new elections are “exactly what the military have promised, and most commentators believe the Brotherhood would†lose seats in parliament as a result.”

On June 16, the eve of Egypt’s first presidential election after thirty years under Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian rule, the Supreme Constitutional Court dissolved Parliament, which had only been elected in January and which contained a majority of Islamists, representing the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-conservative Salafists. The military’s dissolution of Parliament has been seen as an attempt to challenge the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists.

The Court’s “constitutional declaration” also stripped Morsi’s presidential office of many of its powers, granted legislative powers to the military, put the military in control of drafting a new constitution and granted it immunity from any civilian oversight.

Earlier on Sunday, Morsi was invited by President Barack Obama to visit the US in September, a sign of what the New York Times called “the ties Washington is cultivating with the regionís Islamists.” Morsi will be attending the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns had not mentioned Morsi’s visit at an earlier news conference. He did say that the US has said it will support Egypt’s economy, which has far from recovered from the turmoil after last year’s revolution. With reference to Egypt saying it will continue to honor the peace treaty with Israel, Burns said that “We have taken careful note and appreciated President Morsiís public statements about a commitment to international obligations, and we certainly attach great importance to Egyptís continuing role as a force for peace.”

The †Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) held an emergency session on Sunday but†its response to Morsi’s decree is not yet clear.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Mohamed Morsi Sworn in as Egyptís President Under Eyes of Generals

Islamist Mursi Is Egyptís First Post-Revolution President

Egypt Delays Announcing Winner in Presidential Election

 

Photo of campaign banner for Mohamed Morsi by Nehal ElSherif

12 comments

Reem Abdel Basit
Reem Abdel Basit6 years ago

Ok talking from within Egypt as an Egyptian I might have a better insight, first the ruling of the court was that the elections on theoarlemint was done based on an unconstitutional law ( 30% individuals and 70% political party list ) then the law gave the people belonging to political parties the right to run for the individual seats which is the part that was ruled us unconstitutional as it defys the bases on equal opportunities, based on that the court ruled that since the law was unconstitutional therefore the makeup of the parliament is unconstitutional thus it is considered null from the day of the court ruling, thus the scaffold dissolving the parliament was just a formality thing since it is no longer constitutional thus re assigning the parliament is unconstitutional and is in contempt of a court ruling, I hope I explained a few fact since there was a lot of bias in the article

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Daniel A.
Daniel A6 years ago

Folks, before you post comments concerning the Muslim Brotherhood, please remember that it if only about 100 years old, and has yet to change its basic teachings, which are totally inimcable to our existence as a free society. Please, I get of you, look up the history, and goals of the Brotherhood before you offer your opinions or make up your minds.

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Carl Oerke
Carl O6 years ago

In the end Morsi's decree to return the Parliament may be a good thing. There is no doubt that Morsi after his recent election is trying to pressure the military to relinquish some of its power. As I see it the military has one of two options give up some power or resist and clamp down. I believe that Morsi was elected becasue he appeared the lesser of two evils. After thirty years of the military backed Mubarek regime the people wanted a change. Morsi not my first choice was that change. If the military reasserts its power ultimately it would not matter who was elected president nothng would change. If Morsi comes out on top and the military is weakend and Morsi does not provide the change that those who took to the streets wanted they will become frustrated and disenfranchised and will take to the streets again or vote him out of office. And if the military's stranglehold is weakened in the proces the next president may have a better chance at instituting reform. It is highly unlikely that things are going to improve there over night but the process seems to have started. How long it will take is anyone's guess.

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Jen Matheson
Past Member 6 years ago

This cannot be a good thing.

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Nancy R.
Nancy R6 years ago

The most important potential source of money right now, in the form of a loan, is not the US but the IMF. For this to go ahead, there have to be assurances that Egypt in on the path to political and economic stability.

As much as we may dislike the Muslim Brotherhood, without their presence in Tahrir Sq., young demonstrators would have been overwhelmed and many more killed when thugs on camel and horseback attacked in January 2011. The MB has been an important power-broker, albeit behind the scenes, for many years, and have a mixed record, having given a lot of assistance to the poor - for political support. The MB probably did buy a lot of votes, but they also have quite a lot of real support among the populace. Had the military "taken out" the MB's leadership, there would have been mass rage and chaos (besides the fact that this would be murder and therefore wrong).

As flawed as the presidential election was, and as distasteful as its result may be, it did represent a first step on the road to democracy. It will take some years for Egyptians to get the hang of it. Certainly Egypt doesn't have laws obstructing "certain" citizens from voting, as we now do in the US!

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Nancy R.
Nancy R6 years ago

The assertion in this article that the [Constitutional] "Court’s “constitutional declaration” also stripped Morsi’s presidential office of many of its powers, granted legislative powers to the military, put the military in control of drafting a new constitution and granted it immunity from any civilian oversight," is wrong. The Constitutional Court ruled that much of the voting was carried out in an unconstitutional manner. Then the Military Council (SCAF) dissolved parliament and declared themselves to hold the above powers. Morsi's recalling of parliament is a challenge to SCAF, not the Court.

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Daniel A.
Daniel A6 years ago

It is not the military vs civilians at this point. It is the military vs the Islamization of Egypt and wresting the control of the military and placing it in the hands of militants. At this point, the confrontation should heat up and if bullets become ballots, Morsi will probably lose. The one mistake which the military made, as the "Spring" began, was in not taking out the leadership of the Brotherhood. Had that been done, we might have seen a secular-democratic state start to develop.

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J.L. A.
JL A6 years ago

so confusing--hard to guess which way the wind will blow and how it will end

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David Nuttle
Past Member 6 years ago

Egypt will find it difficult to recover if its military and civilians long remain in conflict. A lack of internal security will damage the tourism industry so important to Egypt's income. If the Muslims expand their attacks on Coptics and other Christians, as well as attacking westernized Egyptian women, real democracy will be difficult to establish. Egypt depends on the U.S. for food shipments and significant amounts of aid. Chaos in Egypt could risk the loss of such support creating some popular motivation for even more conflict in Egypt. All in all, not a good situation.

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Debra Griffin
Missy G6 years ago

Thanks

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