Judiciary, Egypt's Morsi in parliament tug of war
10 July, 2012
CAIRO: Egypt's top court on Monday rejected a decree by President Muhamad Morsi to reinstate parliament it ruled invalid, setting him on a collision course with the judiciary and the military which enforced the ruling.
"All the rulings and decisions of the Supreme Constitutional Court are final and not subject to appeal and are binding for all state institutions," the Egyptian court said in a statement.
This came after Morsi decided to order back the Lower House of parliament a month after the court found certain articles in the law on parliamentary elections to be invalid, annulling the House.
The powerful Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which was running the country after president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year, had dissolved parliament based on the ruling. The court's move could spark a confrontation between Morsi, who stepped down from the Muslim Brotherhood when he was sworn in last month, and the SCAF as well as the judiciary.
But the presidency insisted the decree "neither contradicts nor contravenes the ruling by the constitutional court".
The ruling does not need to be implemented immediately according to precedent, said presidential spokesman Yasser Ali, arguing that Morsi's decision "takes into account the higher interest of the state and the people".
Morsi's decree also stipulates the organisation of new parliamentary elections two months after the approval by referendum of Egypt's new constitution and the adoption of a new law regulating parliament.
The confrontation prompted the United States to urge Egypt to respect "democratic principles".
"Developments are unfolding quickly and we are monitoring them and in touch with Egypt's leaders," said National Security Council (NSC) spokesman Tommy Vietor.
"Ultimately, though, these issues are for Egyptians to decide in a manner that respects democratic principles, is transparent, and protects the rights of all Egyptians," he said.The constitutional court stressed that it was "not a part of any political conflict but the limit of its sacred duty is the protection of the texts of the constitution".