Egyptian Parliament Meets, Defies Military
The parliament was disbanded after Egypt’s highest court said a third of the chamber's members were elected illegally in 2011, CNN reported. The Higher Constitutional Court said Monday after a meeting, “its ruling to dissolve parliament is final and binding.”
Following the session, the Higher Constitutional Court halted Morsi’s decision to call the nation's parliament back into session, affirming its decision to dissolve the chamber and considered parliament invalid, officials told CNN.
Parliament speaker Saad al-Katatni, also a member of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, opened the session that lasted only five minutes, Reuters reported.
“I invited you to convene in accordance with the decree issued by the president,” el-Katatni said. “I would like to confirm that the presidential decree does not violate the court order.”
Egypt’s military has ruled the country since the 2011 revolution that ousted leader Hosni Mubarak.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it acted on behalf of the court ruling and has vowed to uphold it, the Associated Press reported.
“We are confident that all state institutions will respect what was issued in all constitutional declarations,” the military said in a statement.
The parliament consists primarily of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that nominated the new president. Morsi took office June 30.
From The New York Times:
The power struggle reflected dueling claims to Egypt’s emerging politics, with each side trying to frame the debate as a contest for ideals, legitimacy and democracy. The generals, backed by the court, argue that the new president must respect legal precedents and the institutions of the state. The new president, in turn, is calling on the generals to respect a popular will that was expressed through free elections.
The likelihood of an open confrontation between Morsi and Egypt’s military rulers is low, Monique El-Faizy, a project leader at the World Policy Institute, told CNN. Both sides have too much to lose and neither can risk pushing the other too far, she told the news organization.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Egypt later this week.
“We’ve seen over the last few days that there is a lot of work ahead for Egypt to keep this transition on course,” she told reporters Tuesday. “Democracy really is about empowering citizens to determine the direction of their own country.”
Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage on Egypt here.
Reach Executive Producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.