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Rights lawyer challenges Morsi's appointment of 90 Shura members

New constitution does not allow President Mohamed Morsi to appoint 90 members to the Shura Council, according to Egyptian human rights' attorney Hafez Abu-Seida

Ahram Online, Monday 24 Dec 2012
Shura council
Shura council (Photo:Al-Ahram)
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Rights lawyer Hafez Abu-Seida has filed an appeal against President Mohamed Morsi's decision to appoint 90 members of the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt’s parliament.

According to Abu-Seida, the chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Righs, the newly-approved constitution does not give the president the right to appoint 90 members to the body.

Abu-Seida further argued that the new constitutional article granting the Shura Council legislative authority until a new parliament is voted in should only be applied to the elected members of the Shura and not the appointed members, as the constitution was drafted earlier than the presidential decision.

The presidency announced late on Saturday, on the final day of the constitutional referendum, the names of 90 members of the Shura Council, chosen by President Morsi according to his constitutional prerogatives, to fill one third of the 270-member body.

The Shura Council will take over the power to issue laws, currently in the hands of the president, once the constitution is approved. The final results of the two-phase referendum on the draft constitution will be announced on Tuesday.

The council is expected to discuss the law regulating political rights on which the next elections of the lower house of parliament will be based. The parliamentary elections will be held in two months.

A number of prominent figures are among those appointed, including the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party Essam El-Erian, former head of the military judiciary Adel El-Morsi, American University in Cairo professor Mona Makram Ebeid, and former MP Ramy Lakah.

Meanwhile, a number of opposition figures including journalists Wael Qandil and Gameela Abu-Ismail have declined presidential invitations to join the council.

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