Egyptian court upholds controversial dissolution of parliament

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, overrode the military by calling back parliament when he took office June 30.

Story highlights

  • High Administrative Court says Egypt's parliament remains dissolved, as it ruled earlier
  • But the court will rule October 15 on a similar case, leaving the door open for change
  • Egypt's then-military rulers dissolved parliament after the court found vote unconstitutional
  • President Morsy was critical and called parliament back, then said he'd respect court decision

Egypt's high administrative court on Saturday upheld a controversial decision to dissolve parliament -- a move the nation's president emphatically opposes -- state news reported.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which ruled Egypt after the 2011 ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak, dissolved parliament in June 2012 in line with a ruling from the High Constitutional Court that declared the constitutional articles that regulated parliamentary elections were invalid.

That soon set up a showdown with Mohamed Morsy, who was elected president later that month and whose former group, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, had won more legislative seats than any other entity. Morsy opted to override the military by calling back parliament when he took office June 30, though weeks later he vowed to respect the court's ruling that parliament was still dissolved.

Saturday's decision, by the high administrative court, once again upholds the decision on the so-called People's Assembly because the elections that spawned it, beginning in November 2011, were unconstitutional, the state-run Al-Ahram news website reported.

Judges didn't entirely close the book on the case, though. Judges set aside a ruling on a similar case involving parliament, promising to rule on October 15.

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Even as things may change, the decision for now continues to leave Egypt without a democratically elected legislative body at a time it faces a host of issues, including major economic problems and social unrest.

However, there's no longer a political crisis pitting against Morsy against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which assumed legislative powers after it dissolved parliament.

    In August, Morsy shook up Egypt's powerful military leadership by replacing top generals and reasserting powers that the military claimed for itself before he took office. He also reversed the June constitutional decree by the Supreme Council that claimed to retain legislative authority until a new parliament could be sworn in near the end of the year, Ali said.

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