Egyptian presidency appeals parliamentary elections suspension

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 Mar 2013

Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) schedules a hearing for the appeal on 17 March

A file photo of a parliamentary session in Egypt (Photo: Al-Ahram archive).

The Egyptian State Lawsuit Authority (ESLA) has appealed a ruling made by the Administrative Court suspending parliamentary elections, which were called for by President Mohamed Morsi in February.

The ESLA appealed the ruling on behalf of the Egyptian president, the minister of justice and the head of the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament, which temporarily holds legislative powers.

The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) has scheduled a hearing for the appeal on 17 March. The hearing will combine the president's appeal with another already submitted by former MP Mohamed El-Omda.

The ruling suspending elections came following amendments by the Shura Council to the electoral law governing elections to the House of Representatives, Egypt's lower house of parliament, after the High Constitutional Court (HCC) had rejected five articles in the new law.

The amendments were passed without a further review by the HCC, and accordingly the Administrative Court suspended the polls, which were scheduled for April, and required the law be referred to the HCC a second time for approval.

After the ruling, the presidency stressed in a statement its "respect for the Administrative Court ruling to suspend elections for parliament's lower house and refer the electoral law back to the constitutional court."

It went on to reaffirm "its respect for [Egypt's] constitution, the rule of law and the separation of powers." The statement was seen as an indicator it would not appeal the ruling.

The ESLA automatically appeals any judicial ruling against a presidential or governmental decree, except when the governmental party requests the ESLA refrain from appealing.

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