Tahrir fumes after constitutional court ruling on Egypt People's Assembly

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Jul 2012

Ruling by Egypt's High Constitutional Court suspending executive decree restoring parliament's lower house causes explosion of anger in Cairo's flashpoint Tahrir Square

Mohamed Morsi's supporters in Tahrir celebrate his victory on 24 June 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Tensions in Cairo's Tahrir Square mounted significantly on Tuesday evening after Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC) suspended President Mohamed Morsi's executive decree reinstating the dissolved People's Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament).

"The constitutional court forgot what happened in 2005," one middle-aged Tahrir Square protester, enraged by the verdict, told Al Jazeera. "It was the Muslim Brotherhood who stood by them [Egypt's judiciary] against the Mubarak regime."

In 2005, Egyptian judges held angry demonstrations to protest massive electoral fraud in favour of then-president Hosni Mubarak. The demonstrations led to confrontations between members of the judiciary and Mubarak's security forces.

Protesters had gathered in the square on Tuesday afternoon for a scheduled million-man march in support of Morsi’s decree, only to be abruptly slapped with the HCC ruling calling for the decree's suspension.

"This decision is obviously politicised and confirms that the HCC remains a tool of the former regime," another Tahrir Square protester told Al Jazeera.

"All these judges were appointed by Mubarak," noted one young bearded man in the square.

Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website had earlier reported that protesters were shouting slogans against Ahmed El-Zend, the head of the Egyptian Judges' Club who had fiercely attacked Morsi and his executive decree reinstating the People's Assembly.

Morsi's decision on Sunday to restore parliament's lower house – one of his first acts as Egypt's first freely-elected head of state – was immediately met with controversy.

In mid-June, the HCC declared a parliamentary elections law – which had governed last year's legislative polls – to be unconstitutional. The following day, Egypt's then-ruling military council ordered the dissolution of the Islamist-led People's Assembly. 

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