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Egypt high court remands parliamentary election law to legislature for amendment

The Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court [official website] announced Monday that it has rejected parts of the draft election law that will govern the country's upcoming parliamentary elections. While the court must ratify the legislation before it can be enacted by President Mohamed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the court has remanded the law to Egypt's acting legislature to amend five specific articles [Ahram Online report] to which the court objected. The law will now return to the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament that assumed full legislative powers on a temporary basis when the lower house People's Assembly was dissolved by court order in June. It has yet to be determined if the April parliamentary elections will be delayed while the law is redrafted.

Egypt has been plagued by continuing protests and violence since the beginning of the revolution. Earlier this month the Supreme Constitutional Court postponed ruling [JURIST report] on whether the legislative constitutional assembly that recently drafted a new charter was legitimate. The judges claimed a crowd of Islamists outside the courthouse of had intimidated the judges and blocked the entrance to the courthouse. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] in late January voiced concern [JURIST report] over the growing violence and rising death toll in Egypt stemming from ongoing protests throughout the country. Earlier in January Morsi declared a state of emergency in an attempt to quell growing unrest and violent political protests in cities a day after nationwide unrest compounded following an Egyptian court ruling handing down 21 death sentences [JURIST reports] for a 2012 soccer riot that resulted in 74 deaths and thousands of injuries.

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