Egypt's Constitutional Court deliberates future of People's Assembly

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Jul 2012

The High Constitutional Court listens to petitioners appealing the presidential decree reinstating parliament, and breaks for deliberations

Supreme Constitutional Court
Egypt's riot police stand guard in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court (Photo: AP)

The High Constitutional Court (HCC) adjourned the session in the case against the 8 July presidential decree reinstating the People's Assembly for deliberation after judges heard both the defense and the plaintiffs.

President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree on Sunday revoking the 15 June decision of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to dissolve the People's Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament) last month. The presidential decree reinstating the People's Assembly was issued one week after he was inaugurated as Egypt’s first post-Mubarak head of state. The decree also called for fresh parliamentary polls to be held within 60 days of ratification of a new constitution.

The SCAF declared in a statement on Monday that it never resorted to taking "exceptional" measures during its interim tenure in power. It went on to assert that its dissolution of the People's Assembly last month had been based on an HCC ruling that the assembly was unconstitutional.

The People Assembly met for the first time since its dissolution on Tuesday, two days after the presidential decree reinstating it. During the session Speaker of Parliament Saad El-Katatni announced that the HCC decision would be referred to the Appeal Court.

El-Katatni made it clear that the People's Assembly not resume its work until the Appeal Court gives its verdict on the standing of members of the lower and upper houses of parliament based on Article 40 of the 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration.

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