Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
03:56 AM Beirut time
17 °C
Blom Index
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Court to rule on legality of Egyptian parliament
People and vehicles travel under a banner which reads "People isolate President", at Tahrir Square, after protesters opened it to traffic, in Cairo December 30, 2012. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
People and vehicles travel under a banner which reads "People isolate President", at Tahrir Square, after protesters opened it to traffic, in Cairo December 30, 2012. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
A+ A-

CAIRO: Egypt's highest court is to examine the legitimacy of the upper house of parliament, a case likely to increase the legal uncertainty of the country's political transition and leave it without a legislature.

The Supreme Constitutional Court has already forced the lower house to dissolve under a June ruling that said an electoral law used to elect both chambers - and which resulted in an Islamist dominated parliament - was unfair.

The new case once again pits independent lawyers against the Islamists that have come to power since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak and who see the court as stuffed with the former president's appointees.

On Sunday, at its first session since going on strike over President Mohamed Mursi's decision to expand his powers, the court set Jan. 15 as the date for the first hearing. It will also examine the legitimacy of the Islamist-dominated assembly that wrote the constitution that Mursi fast-tracked to approval at a referendum this month.

If the court rules against the upper house - which seems likely as it was elected under the same law that the court found lacking in the lower house case in June - Egypt will have a legislative vacuum until new parliamentary elections, expected to start in about two months.

The upper house assumed legislative powers just last week under the new constitution.

The June ruling said the transitional electoral law - drafted by the generals then ruling post-Mubarak Egypt in consultation with political parties - gave too much power to parties, at the expense of independent candidates.

The court had to postpone the hearings from early December due to a protest outside its building by Islamists.

"The (court) renews its condemnation of those who participated in it, as well as those who remained silent," the court said in a statement.

Mursi had shielded both the assembly which drafted the constitution and the upper house of parliament from legal challenges in a decree he issued in November which touched off protests by critics who accused him of a power grab.

Mursi revoked the decree ahead of the referendum in which the constitution was approved by 64 percent of those who voted.

The new constitution cut the number of judges who sit in the Supreme Constitutional Court to 11 from 18. One of Mursi's most vocal critics was among the judges to leave the court.

Home Middle East

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Tuesday April 15, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS