SCAF cannot execute High Court verdict: Defunct Egypt parliament speaker

Ahram Online, Saturday 16 Jun 2012

Saad El-Katatni, the speaker of the People's Assembly, says the ruling junta does not have the right to implement a court verdict to dismantle the parliament's lower house - only the people do

Former speaker of the dissolved parliament Saadi El Katatni (Photo: Reuters)

The Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday criticised the court ruling that dismantled the parliament's lower chamber on Thursday, saying the ruling military council does not have the right to execute the court order.

A couple of days ago, the High Constitution Court (HCC) declared Egypt's Parliamentary Elections Law – which regulated last year's legislative polls – to be unconstitutional.

The ruling resulted in the immediate dismantling of the People's Assembly which was dominated by the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

The day following the ruling, on Friday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ordered the management of the lower house of parliament to close its doors in line with Thursday's verdict.

The ruling junta gained its current powers through the interim constitutional declaration the generals issued on 30 March 2011.

However, the Twitter account of the Brotherhood's English language website, IkhwanWeb, quoted Saad El-Katatni, the speaker of the now-defunct People's Assembly, as saying the constitutional chart "does not grant the SCAF or any other body the power to execute those court verdicts."

Another statement published by the same account on the micro-blogging site reads: "the decision to dissolve the parliament can only be made through a public referendum, because the people's will can be canceled out only by the people."

Presidential elections                                            

In another statement on the Brotherhood's official English website IkhwanWeb, the group asked Egyptians to "flock to ballot boxes [in Egypt's presidential elections runoff vote, slated for Saturday and Sunday] to save the revolution from its enemies."

Mohamed Morsi, the head of the FJP, is vying for Egypt's top post with Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under deposed president Hosni Mubarak, after they finished in first and second place, respectively, in the first round of the elections in late May.

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court had ruled that the Disenfranchisement Law, which was introduced by the parliament in April to prevent the remnants of the former regime from holding governmental decision, is unconstitutional thus permitting Shafiq to contest in the runoff poll.     

The Brotherhood said the verdict allowed "a pillar of the repressive former regime to run for president."  

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