Egyptian president annuls dissolution of parliament
Egypt’s new President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree on Sunday annulling the Supreme Court’s dissolution of the Islamist-dominated parliament, the official MENA news agency reported.
“President Morsi has issued a presidential decree annulling the decision taken on June 15, 2012 to dissolve the people’s assembly, and invites the chamber to convene again and to exercise its prerogatives,” MENA said.
It said the decree stipulates “the organisation of elections for the chamber, 60 days after the approval by referendum of the country’s new constitution and the adoption of a new law regulating parliament.”
Egypt’s top court made the controversial move last month, a day before the second round of the presidential election that saw the Islamist Morsi become Egypt’s first democratically elected head of state.
The Supreme Constitutional Court had said certain articles in the law governing parliamentary elections were invalid, annulling the Islamist-led house.
It also ruled as unconstitutional the political isolation law, which sought to bar senior members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s regime and top members of his now-dissolved party from running for public office for 10 years.
Morsi beat Ahmed Shafiq — Mubarak’s last prime minister — in the presidential election.
In the absence of a parliament — in which nearly half of the seats had been won by the Muslim Brotherhood and another quarter by hardline Salafists — the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces itself assumed legislative power.
The Brotherhood, formerly headed by Morsi, accused the SCAF of seeking to monopolise power and demanded a referendum.
US President Barack Obama will meet Morsi at the UN General Assembly in New York in September, an official in Washington told AFP on Sunday.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is to visit Cairo on July 14, has congratulated Morsi on his election but cautioned that his victory was just a first step towards true democracy.
“We have heard some very positive statements so far,” Clinton said.
But the historic vote was “just the beginning of hard work, and hard work requires pluralism, respecting the rights of minorities, an independent judiciary and independent media,” she said.
“We expect President Morsi to demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity that is manifested by representatives of the women of Egypt, of the Coptic Christian community, of the secular, non-religious community and young people,” she added.
Clinton’s deputy, Bill Burns, was in Cairo on Sunday on the last day of a three-day visit for a wide range of meetings.
The State Department said Burns would “affirm the US commitment to supporting Egypt’s democratic transition, central to which is forming a government that respects the rights of all Egyptian citizens, including women and religious minorities.”
[image of Egyptian presidential palace via Agence France-Presse]