Dissolved Shura Council holds session at pro-Morsi sit-in

Ahram Online, Monday 22 Jul 2013

Special session attended by over 140 former council members convenes to discuss 'military coup', calls committee amending constitution 'invalid'

Egypt's dissolved upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, held a special session on Monday at Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque, where an ongoing sit-in is calling for deposed president Mohamed Morsi's reinstatement.  

Following Morsi’s popularly-backed overthrow by the Egyptian army on 3 July, Interim President Adly Mansour issued a presidential decree dissolving the Islamist-dominated Shura Council.

However, the National Alliance for Legitimacy Support, a coalition of Islamist groups led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), has remained defiant, rejecting what they call a military coup against Egypt’s first democratically-elected president.

Former council head Ahmed Fahmy, a leading member of the FJP, said that he had received requests from council members to hold the session.

The Monday session, convened to discuss the "military coup," was held in one of Rabaa Al-Adawiya’s halls, where at least 140 former council members sat before Fahmy and a giant banner reading "Shura Council."

The former council's legal and constitutional committee said that it rejects the current committee formed to amend the constitution, calling it "invalid."

Army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi declared Egypt's 2012 constitution "frozen" during his statement announcing Morsi's ouster.

On Saturday, Interim President Mansour issued a presidential decree forming a 10-member legal committee to amend the constitution.  

The committee began work on Sunday, meeting at the Shura Council headquarters in downtown Cairo.  

The recently-disbanded 270-member Shura Council was elected in February 2012 and had 115 Muslim Brotherhood members.  Brotherhood allies garnered another 20 seats, and the ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party – not allied with the Brotherhood – occupied another 48. Ousted president Morsi appointed another 90 figures, mostly Islamists, to complete the 270-seat council.

Before Morsi was removed from office, some 35 – largely un-Islamist – members of the Shura Council tendered their resignations.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood reiterated on Sunday its demand for Morsi’s reinstatement as the only solution to the current political crisis.

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