Judges' Club warns President Morsi: 'Don't reinstate parliament, or else'

Sarah Mourad, Tuesday 10 Jul 2012

Egypt’s Judges' Club on Monday night gave President Morsi 36 hours to backtrack on his decision to reinstate the People’s Assembly that the High Consitutional Court ruled unconstitutional

"We are giving Morsi a 36-hour grace period to backtrack on his decision [to restore the parliamentary lower chamber]. Otherwise, we will have to make much firmer responses, which we will announce at the appropriate moment," said Judge Ahmed El-Zend, the head of the Judges' Club, who furiously unleashed a fierce attack against President Mohamed Morsi late Monday.

Morsi incurred the wrath of the Judges Club – an unofficial body of Egypt’s judges – when he issued a presidential decree on Sunday to reinstate the People's Assembly (the lower house of the parliament). The Islamist-dominated parliament was dismantled mid-June by the then-ruling military council pursuant to a judgment by Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC) that the found parliamentary elections law – which governed last year's legislative polls – unconstitutional.

Shortly after many legal experts and political gurus lambasted President Morsi for his contentious decision, El-Zend opened fire at the newly-inaugurated president and issued his ultimatum.

"This will never go through easily … We demand an apology to the people," El-Zend stated during a news conference before adding in a mocking tone, "Morsi should take a fourth oath to assure he will respect the law and constitution from now on.”

“I would like to tell Morsi that he is surrounded by people who tricked him, and will make him fall into a trap,” El-Zend warned.

"Whoever disregards the law - whatever his position and rank is - will be confronted.

"The [presidential] decree lashes out against the High Constitutional Court, which is the highest ranked judicial authority in Egypt."

El-Zend went on to imply that Morsi, who came from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, reinstated the People’s Assembly because the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) – the political arm of the Brotherhood – boasts nearly half of the lower chamber’s seats. "Egypt will not accept such a decision to from a certain group or party," he said.

The head of lawyers' syndicate, Sameh Ashour, also condemned Morsi's decision at the same conference. "He must backtrack on this decision immediately," he asserted.

The head of Commissioners Authority, Abdel Aziz Salman, said that "Morsi has lost his credibility as president, since he violated the presidential oath he took before the HCC."

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