Court rules Egypt's legislature illegal

2013-06-02 16:33
Mohammed Morsi(file, AFP)

Mohammed Morsi(file, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egypt's highest court ruled on Sunday that the nation's Islamist-dominated legislature and constitutional panel were illegally elected, dealing a serious blow to the legal basis of the Islamists' hold on power.

The ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court says that the legislature's upper house, the only one currently sitting, would not be dissolved until the parliament's lower chamber is elected later this year or early in 2014.

The constitutional panel has already dissolved after completing the charter.

The ruling deepens the political instability that has gripped the country since the overthrow of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak more than two years ago.

The same court ruled to dissolve parliament's lower chamber in June, a move that led to the promotion of the normally toothless upper chamber, the Shura Council, to becoming a law-making house.

The Shura Council, long derided as nothing more than a talk shop, was elected by about 7% of the electorate last year.

It was not immediately clear whether the ruling on the 100-member constitutional panel would impact in any way on the charter it drafted.

The constitution was adopted in a nationwide vote in December with a relatively low turnout of about 35%.


But even if it does not, the ruling will question the legal foundations of the disputed charter pushed through by allies of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in an all-night session late last year.

Critics say the charter restricts freedoms and gives clerics a say in legislation.

The Islamists who drafted it hail the document as the best one Egypt has ever had.

In what appeared to be an attempt to remove any confusion over the ruling, Morsi's office issued a brief statement in which it emphasised that all state institutions must respect the constitution, that the Shura Council will continue to function as the nation's legislature and that the president will ensure that all the branches of state are fully functioning.

Regardless of its consequences on the ground, Sunday's ruling is likely to prolong the polarising political transition that followed Mubarak's overthrow.

Rival political groups disagree not just on policies and the future course of the nation but on the legitimacy of the basic institutions of government.

It will give heart to the mostly secular and liberal opposition, while providing fresh ammunition to the argument often repeated by the president's supporters that the judiciary is filled with Mubarak loyalists determined to derail the nation's political process.

Morsi, elected nearly a year ago, tried to reinstate parliament's lower chamber just days after he came to office on 30 June but eventually bowed to the court ruling and backed down.






Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.