Fate of parliament upper house Shura Council remains mystery
Ahram Online, Friday 15 Jun 2012
The fate of the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt's parliament, remains debatable as the ruling junta is yet to announce whether it will be dissolved like the People's Assembly

Tarek El-Sahry, Salafist Nour Party MP and deputy speaker of the Shura Council, stressed the upper chamber of Egypt's parliament has not been declared null and void like the People's Assembly, the lower chamber that was dissolved based on a Thursday verdict returned by the High Constitutional Court (HCC).

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party MP Aly Fath El-Bab, majority leader of Shura Council, however, believed otherwise.

On Thursday, the HCC declared Egypt's Parliamentary Elections Law – which regulated last year's legislative polls – to be unconstitutional.

Maher Sami, deputy head of the HCC, said on Thursday shortly after the verdict was returned that both houses of parliament – the People's Assembly and the consultative Shura Council – would be dissolved.

Later on, however, El-Sahry, among others, argued that Shura Council will remain unscathed.

El-Sahry was quoted by Al-Ahram's Arabic news portal as saying, "the ruling of the constitutional court on the people's assembly does not affect the Shura Council."

"The Shura Council's sessions will be held on time as scheduled," he added.

El-Sahry explained: "The court's ruling came as a result of the appeals lodged against the People's Assembly, which means it has nothing to do with the Shura Council that, so far, no one has filed appeals against."

Conversely, Fath El-Bab, who is also the majority leader of Shura Council, said the verdict applies on the Shura Council as well, since it "was elected through the same elections."

On Friday, Egypt's ruling military council sent an official notification to the secretariat of the People's Assembly on Thursday

The secretariat of Egypt's People's Assembly on Thursday received an official notification from Egypt's ruling military council to immediately dissolve the lower house of parliament in line with Thursday's High Constitutional Court (HCC) verdict.

The notification orders the lower house of parliament to close its doors, while nothing was mentioned about the upper house, the Shura Council, whose fate remains unclear up till press time.