Top News: Supreme Constitutional Court Decrees Dissolution of Parliament

Egypt Supreme Court

The Supreme Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that a law governing parliamentary elections is unconstitutional in a landmark case that will result in the dissolution of Parliament.


Court rules political isolation and election laws unconstitutional
Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, Al Ahram (Arabic), 6/14/2012
The Supreme Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that a law governing parliamentary elections is unconstitutional in a landmark case that will result in the dissolution of Parliament. Following an approximately three-hour hearing, Egypt’s highest court also struck down the Political Isolation Law that strips top ex-officials of political rights, allowing former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq to continue his bid for president. Acting as the country’s executive power, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces amended the parliamentary elections law several times. At issue is the last amendment, which reversed an earlier stipulation that parties could not compete for single-winner seats in the elections that began last fall. Protesters outside the court erupted when the verdict was announced, chanting "The people want the judiciary to be purged." They said that the ruling promises a "second revolution." The Supreme Constitutional Court’s decisions cannot be appealed. Maher Sami, deputy head of Egypt’s High Constitutional Court, has announced that Thursday’s court verdict – which declared the Parliamentary Elections Law unconstitutional – means that both houses of Egypt’s parliament, both the People’s Assembly and the consultative Shura Council, will be dissolved. 

Shafiq, other witnesses skip Battle of the Camel trial
Egypt Independent, 6/14/2012

Lawyers representing victims of a February 2011 attack on Tahrir Square demonstrators demanded Thursday that presidential contender Ahmed Shafiq, a senior military leader, and a preacher be arrested and forced to testify in court. The trial, which began last year, includes 24 defendants — members of the disbanded National Democratic Party, businessmen and former lawmakers — accused of involvement in killing protesters on 2 and 3 February last year during the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Major General Hassan al-Roweiny, the Central Military Zone commander and a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Shafiq and Islamic preacher Safwat Hegazy apologized Thursday for not being able to testify in a court session scheduled for that day. 


Parliament dissolved, Constituent Assembly threatened say legal experts
Ahram Online, El-Watan (Arabic), 6/14/2012

Law professor and analyst Hossam Eissa told Ahram Online Thursday that the recently chosen Constituent Assembly will be automatically dissolved since the law issued on Monday that could render the constitution-drafting body immune to dissolution has not yet been signed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). The ruling military council, he says, is expected to take over the legislative authority until the parliamentary elections are repeated. "We are back to square one", Eissa added. Legal expert and former head of State Council Mohamed Hamed El-Gamal confirmed that Parliament has to be completely dissolved, adding that parliamentary party members who won individual candidacy seats should have the right to rerun on party lists.   El-Gamal agrees with Eissa that the Constituent Assembly will be dissolved, saying that the MPs responsible for electing the assembly’s membership or who are themselves included in the assembly will no longer maintain their legal position.   


Egypt’s Brotherhood says accepts ruling on Shafik
Reuters, 6/14/2012

The Muslim Brotherhood said it would continue in the presidential election after the constitutional court ruled as unconstitutional a law that would have thrown Ahmed Shafik, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, out of the election. "It’s a reality now, and we must deal with it as such," said Mahmoud Ghozlan, spokesman for the Brotherhood. In a separate ruling, the constitutional court ruled as unconstitutional some of the rules that governed a parliamentary election that returned an Islamist-dominated chamber. Essam el-Erian, a senior Brotherhood MP, declined to comment on the ruling until he had seen the full details. The ruling declared as void one third of the seats in the chamber. 

SCAF, Brotherhood in talks over post-election cooperation: Sources
Ahram Online, 6/13/2012

Government and Muslim Brotherhood sources have both confirmed that talks have been taking place between Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Brotherhood within recent days with the aim of discussing post-election cooperation. At one of the meetings, sources said, Brotherhood second-in-command Khairat El-Shater met with his SCAF counterpart Sami Anan. Other contacts have reportedly included phone calls and wider meetings. Talks are reportedly aimed at fostering cooperation between the two sides on a range of issues, including management of the state following the election of Egypt’s next president. These consultations, according to one Muslim Brotherhood source, "have been very useful in settling ongoing disagreements over the composition of the Constituent Assembly," which is responsible for drafting a new constitution.


Egypt May Keep Interest Rates on Hold as Inflation Slows
Businessweek, 6/14/2012

Egypt’s central bank will probably keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged as pressure on the currency offsets concerns about the economy’s slow growth. The Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Farouk El- Okdah, will keep the overnight deposit rate at 9.25 percent when it meets today, according to all seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The bank usually meets at 3 p.m. and announces the decision two hours later. The central bank raised the key interest rate by one percentage point in November, citing inflationary pressures, though some economists said it was intended to prevent a run on the pound. 


Cat-call sets off sectarian clashes in Luxor
Egypt Independent, 6/14/2012

Luxor police on Wednesday broke up clashes between dozens of Muslims and Christians after a young Muslim man allegedly verbally harassed a Christian woman. A 24-year-old Muslim man was beaten by a group of Christians after reportedly cat-calling the Christian woman in the city’s Sawaqi district. The man was taken to a hospital after suffering several injuries. Dozens of Muslims responded to the attack by throwing rocks at Christians and some of their shops, causing damages. A security source denied rumors that the nearby Mar Girgis Church was attacked. Security was increased in the area out of fear of renewed clashes. 


Morsy win would worry Gulf governments, says former diplomat
Egypt Independent, 6/14/2012

The election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy would raise more concerns with Arab Gulf governments than anywhere else in the world, said a former Egyptian Foreign Ministry official Wednesday. But former Assistant Foreign Minister Sayed Qassem said the concerns will not last long if Morsy is elected. Any new president will be committed to the wishes of the Egyptian people, who will not accept a leader who spoils relations with other countries, particularly those in the Gulf, he said. Qassem added that Egypt, the rest of the Arab world and Iran are more similar than they are different. He emphasized that Gulf governments would feel reassured by the election of Shafiq, who they believe would continue the Mubarak regime’s foreign policies.

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