Egypt president orders parliament to reconvene despite high court ruling

Egypt president orders parliament to reconvene despite high court ruling

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[JURIST] Newly elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday issued a decree [text] calling the dissolved Egyptian parliament back into session. The parliament was dissolved in June after the Supreme Constitutional Court [official website] of Egypt ruled that one-third of its members were elected illegally [JURIST report]. Although the court said in its decision that the entire body was invalid, the actual dissolution of parliament was carried out by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder], acting as the executive at the time. Morsi’s decree, therefore, does not directly defy the court. In response to the decree, however, the Supreme Constitutional Court issued a televised statement on Monday declaring that its decision on the Parliament was final [AP report] and not subject to appeal. The court also said it would hear cases challenging Morsi’s decree this week.

Despite the success of a peaceful presidential election, Egypt has faced continued political turmoil since the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak last year. Last week, Morsi issued a decree appointing a fact-finding committee to investigate the deaths of protesters [JURIST report] in last year’s demonstrations. A court in June struck down [JURIST report] a government decree that restored broad arrest powers to Egyptian military officials. Last week, a former candidate in Egypt’s presidential election and several non-government organizations filed a lawsuit challenging Egypt’s interim constitution [JURIST report], alleging it gives the Egyptian military unlimited power. Days before it’s dissolution, the Egyptian parliament elected a new constitutional council after lawmakers finally reached an agreement [JURIST reports] on the political composition of the council. Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court in April effectively suspended [JURIST report] the work of the 100-member council responsible for drafting the country’s new constitution after ruling in favor of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the formation of the panel.