Ruling on Egyptian parliament 'final'

 

Egypt's highest court has asserted its ruling that led to the disbanding of parliament is final and binding, state television said, setting up a showdown with the new president.

President Mohammed Morsi has recalled the parliament dissolved by the tribunal last month.

Monday's brief TV report followed a meeting by the Supreme Constitutional Court to discuss Mr Morsi's surprise decision.

It came just hours after the speaker of the dissolved legislature, Saad el-Katatni, called for the chamber to convene on Tuesday.

The announcement on state TV came a day after Mr Morsi recalled the legislators, defying the powerful military's decision to dismiss parliament after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that a third of its members had been elected illegally.

However, both sides appeared together today at a military graduation ceremony. Mr Morsi sat between the head of the armed forces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Chief-of-Staff Sami Anan. The three sat grim-faced for most of the ceremony, but Mr Tantawi and Mr Morsi exchanged a few words while seated on the reviewing stand.

The court's judges made the decision in an emergency meeting even as the speaker of the dissolved legislature, Saad el-Katatni, called for parliament's lower chamber, the People's Assembly, to convene on Tuesday. The court's ruling did not cover parliament's upper chamber, known as the Shura Council, which is largely toothless.

Both Mr Morsi and Mr el-Katatni are long-time members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist group that has long been at odds with the military and with other Islamists holds the majority of parliamentary seats.

The move to restore parliament appeared to be an effort to exert Mr Morsi's authority as president despite a series of moves by the military before his election aimed at limiting his powers.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces took over governing the country after Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising last year and the ruling generals have come under criticism for being slow to hand over power to a civilian administration.

Mr Morsi's executive order made no mention of the court's ruling, restricting itself to revoking the military's decree to dissolve the chamber. That appeared to be an attempt to avoid being seen as flouting a legal decision. Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said Mr Morsi's decision did not violate the court's ruling, according to the Middle East News Agency.

In a separate report, the agency said the court was due to look into several cases questioning the legality of Mr Morsi's decision to reconvene parliament.

The parliament building remained under police guard, although scores of Morsi supporters gathered outside on the street. Many Islamist politicians have said they would attend Tuesday's session. Secular politicians, however, were leaning towards a boycott.

"How can we go and attend in violation of a court ruling?" said Imad Gad, a liberal politician. "There must be respect for the law and for state institutions."

The Brotherhood, long repressed under secular regimes, has emerged as Egypt's most powerful post-Mubarak political force, winning nearly half the seats in parliament and putting their candidate in the president's office.

Mr Morsi's order left Egypt's political and judicial actors scrambling. Mr Morsi also called for new parliamentary elections within 60 days of the adoption of a new constitution, which is not expected before late this year.

The generals who make up the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces held an "emergency meeting" soon after the president's decision was announced on Sunday, but issued no statement.

The military announced a "constitutional declaration" last month giving itself legislative powers in the absence of parliament and stripping Mr Morsi of much of his presidential authority. In a rush of decrees shortly before formally handing over power to Mr Morsi on June 30, the generals also took control over the process of drafting a new constitution and the national budget.

Mr Morsi came to power after narrowly defeating Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, in a run-off last month.

Declared the winner on June 24, he symbolically took the oath of office five days later at Tahrir Square, birthplace of the revolt that toppled Mubarak's regime on February 11, 2011.

He took the formal oath the next day before the Supreme Constitutional Court and again at Cairo University before hundreds of his supporters, including many of the dissolved legislature's politicians.

In his inauguration speeches Mr Morsi hinted at his displeasure over parliament's dissolution and his own diminished powers, pointedly seating Mr el-Katatni, the speaker of parliament, in the front row during the Cairo University ceremony.

AP

Suggested Topics
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service