New turmoil looms in Egypt as tension heightens between Mursi and judiciary
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
A supporter holds a poster of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi at Tahrir square in Cairo. (Reuters)
By Al Arabiya with Agencies
Confrontation between Egypt’s newly-elected President Mohammed Mursi and the country’s highest judiciary authority continued on Wednesday, a sign that could drive the country into deeper political turmoil.
A spokesman of Mursi said that the president will not address the Egyptians on Wednesday, pointing out that it was not enlisted in his agenda to deliver any speeches.
The country’s independent daily al-Fajr reported that Mursi might call for a public referendum on his presidential decree reinstating the parliament. The report was confirmed by a source at the Muslim Brotherhood Guide’s bureau.
Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court said late Tuesday it had overruled President Mursi’s decision to recall the Islamist-led parliament that was dissolved by the country’s generals last month.
The ruling heightened the tension between the newly elected head of state and an establishment that once served the man he replaced, ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
A legal source at the Brotherhood’s political wing, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said that the court ruling issued on Tuesday was illegal and contradicted with all constitutional principles and traditions.
Meanwhile, sources told Al Arabiya that the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court has asked the public prosecutor to question the Brotherhood lawyer over his insulting accusation to the court of forgery.
Resigning MP Mustapha Bakry, who is also a journalist, told Al Arabiya that Mursi’s ignoring of the Constitutional Court’s rulings would probably expose him to prison, based on element 137 of the Law of Penalties.
Tuesday’s detailed ruling of the Supreme Constitutional Court, published by state media, said the court’s verdicts were final and could not be appealed and that both its rulings and their interpretations are binding on “all the state’s authorities and everyone.”
In addition, it said its June 14 decision had declared “the whole (lower house of) parliament void” because the election was based on unconstitutional laws. It added parliament was “non-existent by the power of the law since that date, without the need to take any other measure.”
It described Mursi’s decision to recall the parliament as an “obstacle that stands against the execution of the previous verdict of the constitutional court,” according to Reuters.
The Brotherhood had said they accepted the June 14 ruling, but challenged the army’s decision to dissolve parliament, saying it should be allowed to continue work until a new one is elected after a new constitution is written and passed by referendum.
Lawyers representing Mursi criticized the court’s latest decision and said Tuesday’s ruling was a political move that would further complicate the crisis.
“This ruling is null and void,” lawyer Abdul Moniem Abdul Maqsud told reporters while another member of the team, Mamduh Ismail, called it a “political decision,” according to AFP.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters rallied Tuesday evening in Tahrir Square, hub of the revolution, in support of Mursi and chanting “Down with the military” and other slogans hostile to judges and TV anchors they accuse of being anti-Islamist.
Earlier in the day opponents of Mursi’s decree protested outside the presidential palace.
Mursi’s decree was hailed by those who want to see the army return to barracks, but it was criticized by those who fear an Islamist monopolization of power as a “constitutional coup.”
"The duty of a member of this chamber is not to pander to what is popular
but to uphold what is right..." -RR
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