Egypt's Courts Condemn Morsi As Parliament Reconvenes

Article Summary
Egypt’s top judicial bodies called for emergency meetings to discuss Morsi’s decision to reconvene parliament. The office of the president has issued statements affirming the legality and validity of the decision, while opponents called the move “an infringement on the judiciary.”

The dispute escalated between President Mohammed Morsi and the Supreme Constitutional Court over the president’s decision to revoke Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi’s order to dissolve the People’s Assembly yesterday. Morsi ordered the reconvening of the Assembly until a new constitution is enacted. Tantawi dissolved the Egyptian parliament in accordance with the Supreme Constitutional Court’s decision that the elections law was unconstitutional. Both parties have stood their ground in what appears to be an unprecedented confrontation between the president and the country’s highest court.

The office of the presidency issued a statement yesterday saying that President Morsi’s decision to revoke the order to dissolve the People’s Assembly, as well as his order for it to convene until new parliamentary elections are held, do not contradict or violate the Constitutional Court’s ruling. The statement stressed that the president respects the constitution, the rule of law and the judiciary.

The statement issued by acting presidential spokesman Yasser Ali asserted that President Morsi’s decision will implement the Constitutional Court’s ruling in an organized manner, and that there was no dispute with the judiciary.

The presidency explained that the Constitutional Court’s ruling did not have to be immediately implemented and that there are precedents for postponing its implementation if it serves the people's interest.

The General Assembly of the Supreme Constitutional Court held an emergency meeting chaired by Judge Maher al-Bouhairi Monday [July 9] morning to discuss the president’s decision. After the meeting, the General Assembly issued a statement saying that the court’s decisions “are final, cannot be appealed and are binding for all state authorities.”

The statement also stressed that the court “is not a party to any political conflict and is disinterested in the positions taken by the political forces.” The court declared that it will be considering a number of claims demanding that the president’s decision be blocked. The court will begin reviewing these cases on Tuesday, July 10.

Al-Masry al-Youm has learned that a heated debate took place among members of the Court’s General Assembly, and that most of its members were angry with the president’s decision. Some even suggested that the court’s judges should resign en masse.

The Supreme Judicial Council, headed by Judge Mohammed Mumtaz Mutwalli, met yesterday and issued a statement saying that it will be examining the repercussions of the president’s decision from all aspects before it issues a decision. A number of council members described the president’s decision as an “infringement on the judiciary” and called on the judges to hold an emergency meeting to consider the decision’s implications.

At the People’s Assembly, the secretary-general invited all 508 deputies to participate in the first general meeting today [July 10], which was called for by the Assembly’s Speaker Mohammed Saad Katatni. Katatni said that only one item was on the meeting’s agenda: to study how the Supreme Constitutional Court’s decision over the unconstitutionality of some provisions of the elections law can be applied. He said that he will ask the Constitutional and Legislative Committee to propose its legal and constitutional vision on how to implement the court’s judgment.

Yesterday, the Administrative Court received 17 lawsuits that challenged President Mohammed Morsi’s decision. The court witnessed altercations and mutual accusations between supporters and opponents of the decision to reconvene the National Assembly. Meanwhile, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members demonstrated in front of the court in support of the president’s decision. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party announced that they will participate in a mass demonstration in Tahrir Square today [Tuesday, July 10] to support the president’s decision and achieve the revolution’s goals.

Found in: tantawi, supreme constitutional court, scaf, people's assembly, parliament, muslim brotherhood, muslim, morsi, katatni

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