Egypt MB challenges courts dissolution of Parliament
In a new development that could further complicate Egypt’s troubled transition, the Muslim Brotherhood has challenged a court ruling that dissolved Parliament, saying that an elected body can only be dissolved through popular referendum.
Muslim Brotherhood representatives hold the majority of seats in Parliament.
On Thursday, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional the law which governed parliamentary elections. The contention was over the participation of both independent candidates and parties in the election of one third of parliamentary seats reserved exclusively for independent candidates.
Military leaders deployed forces around the parliament building on Friday, stating that no MP is allowed to enter without prior approval. Meanwhile, the SCC declared on Thursday that its ruling is final and needs no further procedures to be implemented.
In a Saturday statement, the Freedom and Justice Party said it rejected the SCC decision to dissolve Parliament. The statement marks a new offensive for the Brotherhood against SCAF.
“The constant threat to dissolve a Parliament elected by 30 million Egyptians proves that SCAF wants to hold on all powers against popular will,” the statement read.
The statement said that dissolving Parliament cannot be pursued by a court ruling and has to follow a referendum.
“Egyptians, protect your will, and keep voting today and stand against all attempt to waste your gains that you garnered through your free voices in the parliamentary and presidential elections,” read the statement.
In an another statement issued on Saturday, Speaker of Parliament and Brotherhood member Saad al-Katatny said that according to the Constitutional Declaration issued by the ruling military council in March 2011, there is no party that has the authority to dissolve Parliament. Katatny said that he did receive the ruling of the SCC on Thursday and it bears several interpretations from different legal experts.
The ruling is currently being investigated by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee in Parliament, according to Katatny. He said that Parliament is elected by the people and hence cannot be dissolved by any decision without a constitutional reference, giving the example of precedents when Parliament was dissolved in 1987 and 1990 following a popular referendum.
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