07/10/2012, 00.00
EGYPT

Egypt's parliament meets, challenges military

Parliamentary session lasted only a few minutes. Liberal and leftwing parties did not participate. For Catholic Church spokesman, Egypt is deadlocked again.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - The parliamentary session called by Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi, lasted only a few minutes. Parliament itself had been dissolved after a Supreme Constitutional Court in mid-June declared the vote won by Islamists null and void. About a third of all members, mostly from liberal and leftwing parties, boycotted the assembly.

People's Assembly Speaker Saad el-Katatni adjourned the session until the Supreme Constitutional Court had an opportunity to rule on Article 40 of the March 2011 Constitutional Declaration in relation to the standing of members of the lower and upper houses of parliament.

On Monday, the Supreme Constitutional Court had rejected Morsi's decree. "All the rulings and decisions of the Supreme Constitutional Court are final and not subject to appeal  . . . and are binding for all state institutions," it said.

Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, said that Morsi's action could lead Egypt to another institutional deadlock.

"In his speech to the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, the Islamist leader said he would convene parliament, which he did. In so doing, he has created a constitutional and legislative quandary, plunging the country into another phase of stalemate," the priest said.

We are not yet faced with a confrontation with the military, who have not yet spoken about the court's decision, because the military and Islamists are trying to work out a deal to share power.

Many Egyptians are skeptical about the country's future and its democratic prospects, which was the main gain from the Jasmine Revolution against Mubarak.

This could be seen this morning in the streets where no one responded to a call to demonstrate made by the Brotherhood and other groups to discredit the military and show support for parliament.

Most people fear that the military and Islamists will simply accuse each other of a coup.

 

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