Morsi has no plans to reinstate Egypt's People's Assembly: Spokesman

Ahram Online, Tuesday 14 Aug 2012

Presidential spokesman says Morsi isn't aiming to restore parliament's dissolved lower house, stresses constitutionality of president's surprise Sunday decisions

Yasser Ali
Presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has "no intention" of reinstating the dissolved People's Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament), Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali stated on Monday.

The People's Assembly was dissolved on 14 June by order of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) after a constitutional court ruled it unconstitutional.

Ali, in a press statement, went on to say that legal experts had confirmed that Morsi's 12 August Constitutional Declaration – which restored the president's executive authorities – was constitutionally valid.

Ali pointed out that the president had consulted with prominent legal experts, who had assured him of his constitutional right to issue the declaration, before taking the decision.

On Sunday, Morsi issued a new Constitutional Declaration spelling out his presidential authorities. The declaration effectively abrogated an 17 June constitutional addendum, issued by the SCAF, which had attempted to curtail Morsi's executive prerogatives.  

Not all experts, however, agree on the legality of Morsi's Sunday surprise.

Judge Tarek El-Bishri, for one, who headed up the assembly that drafted last year's 30 March Constitutional Declaration, has asserted that Morsi "lacks the authority to issue constitutional declarations."

In an interview with independent daily Al-Shorouk, El-Bishri asserted that Morsi's Constitutional Declaration was tantamount to "an acceptance of the SCAF's 18 June constitutional addendum," which he went on to describe as "illegitimate."

Presidential spokesman Ali, meanwhile, also stressed Morsi's determination to hold fresh parliamentary elections following public approval of a new national charter.  

Following his inauguration in late June, Morsi had attempted to reinstate parliament's dissolved lower house. A presidential decree issued to this effect, however, was quickly overturned by Egypt's High Constitutional Court.

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