HCC general assembly to convene to discuss restoration of People's Assembly

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Jul 2012

General assembly of Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC) to hold emergency meeting on Monday to mull implications of president's surprise reinstatement of parliament's lower house

Morsi swears in front of the Supreme constitutional court
Morsi swears in front of the Supreme constitutional court (Photo:Reuters)

The general assembly of Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC) will hold a meeting early Monday to discuss President Mohamed Morsi's decree reinstating the People’s Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament), which was dissolved last month by order of the military.

Judge Tarek Shebl, member of the HCC's general assembly, told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website that Sunday's presidential resolution represented an "attempt to circumvent" last month's HCC ruling that found a parliamentary elections law – which governed last year's legislative polls – to be unconstitutional.

"HCC rulings are binding on all state authorities," Shebl said. "The resolution reinstating the People’s Assembly does not change the HCC’s rationale regarding the assembly's unconstitutionality."

He went on to say that any legislation issued by parliament's reinstated lower house "would be considered unconstitutional."

Former HCC head Farouq Sultan likewise slammed Morsi's decision.

"I'm astonished how the president, who swore to respect the law, has issued a decree that not only violates the law but also violates the HCC, the state's highest judicial authority," Sultan told Al-Ahram's news website.

According to Sultan, the decision ultimately rests with Egypt's administrative courts, which are responsible for determining the legality of presidential decisions and decrees.

"Morsi's decision is considered an administrative one, which the administrative courts have the authority to overturn," Sultan was quoted as saying.  

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