Ambiguity overshadows airing of Morsi oath at constitutional court

Ahram Online, Saturday 30 Jun 2012

Judge Tahani El-Gebaly claims that new President Mohamed Morsi was the one to object to televising his inauguration at the High Constitutional Court

According to Ahram Arabic news, Egyptian national television aired President-elect Mohamed Morsi swearing the oath of office at the High Constitutional Court (HCC) at 12.55pm although he was sworn-in at 11am.

The time at which theHCC General Assembly gathered to inaugurate Morsi was mentioned in a speech given by HCC head Farouq Sultan, confirmed Ahram Arabic, thus revealing the real time of the event.

Morsi's oath at the HCC is highly controversial as he was originally meant to be sworn in before the now dissolved People's Assembly. The widely condemned addendum to the March 2011 Constitutional Declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) 17 June 2012 substituted the HCC for parliament as the body to which the new president would swear the oath, assigned itself full legislative authorities.

The Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a leading member, together with several other political forces have been protesting for days the addendum, insisting they will neither accept it nor the dissolution of parliament following a HCC ruling on the constitutionality of the law that governed last November's parliamentary elections.

While some considered Morsi's oath sworn before the HCC as signaling his acceptance of the addendum, as he is sworn in based on Article 30 of the addendum Constitutional Declaration, others defended the step claiming it would imply no recognition of the addendum.

According to HCC General Assembly member Judge Tahani El-Gebaly, the new president was opposed the oath before the HCC being aired on television. She added that it was only televised after the HCC's General Assembly insisted.

El-Gebaly further refuted that Morsi could revoke or amend the 17 June addendum to the Constitutional Declaration. After having sworn the constitutional oath, Morsi is committed to the Constitutional Declaration and to constitutional legitimacy, insisted El-Gebaly.

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