Former MP charges Egypt's Morsi with 'sacrificing' People's Assembly

Ahram Online, Tuesday 14 Aug 2012

Mohamed El-Omda vows to hold press conference, along with other disgruntled ex-MPs, to voice opposition to President Morsi's decision not to try to reinstate parliament's suspended lower house

Former MP Mohamed El-Omda (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Former independent Egyptian MP Mohamed El-Omda has said he would hold a press conference "soon" – along with "a large number of other ex-MPs" – to voice dissatisfaction with President Mohamed Morsi's decision not to try to reinstate Egypt's suspended People's Assembly (lower house of parliament).

"At the conference, MPs will lay out exactly how they will deal with this decision," said El-Omda, who had served as deputy head of the assembly's legislative committee.

Morsi attempted to reinstate parliament's Islamist-led lower house in early July, shortly after his inauguration, by issuing a presidential decree to this effect. The move, however, was swiftly overturned by Egypt's High Constitutional Court – the same body that had ruled the assembly unconstitutional in mid-June, ultimately leading to its suspension.

On Monday, presidential spokesman Yasser Ali stated that Morsi had "no intention" of attempting to reinstate the assembly, adding that fresh parliamentary polls would be held once a new constitution was approved via popular referendum.

According to El-Omda, several MPs have voiced anger with Morsi's stated position on the issue. El-Omda, for his part, accused Morsi of "sacrificing" the People's Assembly, which had been – like the still-active Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament) – dominated by Islamist parties.

"Morsi has sacrificed the [lower house of] parliament by giving in to the court ruling that led to its dissolution," he said, going on to accuse Morsi of "monopolising legislative authority in the interests of the Freedom and Justice Party."

The Freedom and Justice Party, of which Morsi was until recently the head, is the political arm of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

On Sunday, Morsi abruptly issued a decree giving him full legislative authority at the expense of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. He has since vowed to relinquish legislative powers to the incoming People's Assembly following fresh parliamentary polls.

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