Fate of Egypt's constituent assembly hangs on Tuesday court ruling

Ahram Online, Tuesday 26 Jun 2012

Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court to issue ruling Tuesday on constitutionality of body tasked with drafting national charter; Decision expected to have wide-ranging implications for country's future

File photo showing a general view of the two chambers of parliament meeting to elect the 100 members of the constituent assembly in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

The Supreme Administrative Court is to rule Tuesday on the constitutionality of Egypt's constituent assembly, which was chosen by the now-dissolved parliament.

If the decision is not postponed, the court will decide whether the constitution-drafting body will be dissolved or not.

The High Constitutional Court (HCC) ruled on 14 June that the parliamentary election law was unconstitutional and consequently the People's Assembly itself was deemed unconstitutional.

The court ruling put the position of the constituent assembly in jeopardy as well.

The ruling junta subsequently issued a constitutional addendum stating that if the constitution-drafting body failed to complete its task, the junta would have the right to dissolve it and form a new body.

The junta said it had issued the addendum because it thought the constituent assembly might be ruled unconstitutional and thus dissolved.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest party in parliament and whose candidate Mohamed Morsi won recent presidential elections, has stated unofficially that it would not accept the rulings junta's constitutional addendum or the dissolution of the People's Assembly.

Several Muslim Brothers have insisted that Morsi will refuse to take oath of office in front of the HCC instead of parliament, implying that it did not recognise the dissolution of parliament.

However, other Brotherhood members have said they accept the court verdicts.

Such contradictory statements suggest there are still ongoing negotiations between the Brotherhood and the junta over the parliament's future.

Prominent political figure Mohamed ElBaradei announced he was mediating between the two parties to avoid escalations.

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