News / Middle East

Court Rules Egypt's Parliament Illegal

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi delivers a speech to the Shura Council, or upper house of parliament, in Cairo, December 29, 2012.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi delivers a speech to the Shura Council, or upper house of parliament, in Cairo, December 29, 2012.
Elizabeth Arrott
Egypt's highest court has ruled that parliament and the group of lawmakers who wrote the constitution were not legally elected.   

In the latest standoff between Egypt's judiciary and the nation's Islamist government, the constitutional court says the nation's Shura Council was elected under flawed election laws.  But it ruled the body will stay seated until new elections are held.          

Shura members are Egypt's sole lawmakers, after the high court last year ordered the lower house, traditionally the more influential body, disbanded.   

The court also ruled against the 100-member constitutional drafting panel, but it was not immediately clear what effect it would have on the document itself.   The lawmakers' draft won approval in a national referendum last year, despite violent opposition to both the laws themselves and the process by which they were adopted.

Political analyst and publisher Hisham Kassem argues the ruling should make the constitution null and void.

"The fact that it went to a national referendum does not give it legitimacy if initially the formation of the committee which drafted the constitution was in violation with the constitution and in violation of law," said Kassem.

There was no immediate comment from the office of President Mohamed Morsi, who claimed extraordinary powers to see the constitution pushed through quickly, in part because of fears the court would disband parliament last year.

The rulings are the latest in a series of challenges lobbed back and forth between the government and Egypt's judiciary, which enjoyed a measure of respect under the old government as an independent body.  Morsi administration officials accuse the court of being filled with holdovers of the old system trying to undermine Egypt's political transition.  

Analyst Kassem says the judiciary continues to enjoy support among others.

"We insist on the rule of law and due process even if the [Muslim] Brotherhood claimed that they are being politically targeted by the judiciary," said Kassem.

The court decided Sunday in the case of the upper house and last year in the case of the lower house that political parties had unfairly fielded candidates in races for the one third of seats meant to be reserved for independent candidates.  Both elections saw Islamist politicians dominate their respective chambers.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
June 02, 2013 8:36 AM
When the Egypt court says something is illegal it supposes that the correct and legal way is opposite of what is found in the original case. This claims an authority to use a stick to beat the Islamists with. If the court is not progressive then it need not have the authority to reverse law, only enforce it

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid