News / Africa

    Egyptian Lawmakers Meet, Defying Military

    Members of the riot police in front of the parliament building in Cairo, July 10, 2012.
    Members of the riot police in front of the parliament building in Cairo, July 10, 2012.
    Margaret Besheer
    CAIRO — Egypt's new president briefly reconvened parliament Tuesday in defiance of the military, which dissolved the legislature last month based on a high court order.  Afterwards, Egypt's highest court has overruled Mohamed Morsi's decision to recall the Islamist-led parliament that was dissolved by the nation's military leaders last month.

    A judicial source said the ruling came hours after Egypt's Islamist-led lower house of parliament reconvened briefly Tuesday in defiance of orders by the country's military and Supreme Court.
     
    About 200 people gathered outside Egypt's parliament on Tuesday as some lawmakers briefly returned to the lower house after President Mohamed Morsi called on them to do so.

    Ahmed Mahmoud Atalla, a legislator from the liberal Wafd party, attended the session.
     
    He says the meeting focused on finding a way to implement the court's ruling, adding that the speaker of parliament briefed everyone on events and then referred the case to the Court of Cassation (Appellate Court) to decide on the eligibility of each member.

    In its ruling that led to the military's dissolution of parliament, the Constitutional Court said the Muslim Brotherhood had filled some of the seats allocated for independent candidates, marring the election process.

    Many pro-Morsi demonstrators said they support the president's decision to recall parliament, saying he is a reformer and the military is trying to stand in his way.
     
    Housewife Um Mohamed says she came because parliament's work is the interest of the people and they want the country to be good. She adds that Egypt was ruined under the corruption of the previous government and the people want to see that change.

    Some analysts have predicted that the president's decision would put him on a path of confrontation with the country's powerful military rulers. But Saber Saad El Din, a football coach, disagrees.
     
    He says he thinks President Morsi is too smart to get into a confrontation with the army. He adds that for 60 years, Egypt was controlled by military-backed rulers and now for the first time there is a civilian leader.

    But opponents of the president's decision include some who voted for him.
    Youssef Abdel Hafiz who works in the private sector says he voted for Morsi but has now shifted 180 degrees because the president "violated a ruling of the constitutional court."  He also expressed suspicion about Morsi's background as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which many see as a secretive organization.
     
    He says President Morsi announced that he broke with the Muslim Brotherhood but he did not, and now takes his decisions from the Brotherhood's highest ranks. He says the people just want him to make his decisions as an individual and the nation will support him, but if the Brotherhood gives him an agenda to execute they will reject that.

    In what some here see as a sign that relations between the president and the military's top ranks have not completely broken down, Morsi and the head of the military council appeared together Monday at a military graduation ceremony.

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    Comments
         
    by: Dr. Malek Towghi / Tauqee from: USA
    July 11, 2012 4:50 AM
    Just after taking oath, President Morsi should have appointed a Copt and a woman as Vice Presidents as he had reportedly promised -- and Dr. ElBaradei as Prime Minister. By not doing so, President Morsi helped create the impression that the Muslim Brotherhood with the help of the notorious Salafis and other extremist Islamists wanted to monopolize all power and that the extremist Islamists would have influence in a Morsi Administeration. Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood is responsible for the growing sympathy and respect for the SCAF's tactful counterrevolutionary moves.

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    July 11, 2012 3:15 AM
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    by: charlie from: California
    July 10, 2012 10:23 AM
    This is how the French Revolution began. When the king tried the dissolve the first parliament elected in 150 years they just moved their session to a tennis court.We all know how that tug of war ended.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 11, 2012 5:43 AM
    Don't be austere with necessary information, Charlie (California). What happened? How did the French revolution play out after the tennis courts session? I quite agree with Sunya's (London) submission that Arabs do not understand democracy... "when it comes to real analysis - Arabs have always been a joke". So tell us what you predict is going to happen in Egypt's quagmire: is it going to play out as real game? Who's going to win? Is the army going to draw its tail under?

    by: Mohamed Mohsen from: Egypt
    July 10, 2012 9:44 AM
    Supreme Constitutional Court found parliament to be unconstitutional based on procedural grounds is not correct, it found that that the Independent candidates were not properly or fairly represented in a district against the overwhelming powers that the political parties enjoyed.
    So it is an honest ruling in the view of many in Egypt.
    In Response

    by: Surya from: London
    July 10, 2012 11:44 AM
    hey, you may find "legalistic" points to quibble about, but we all know the meaning of this maneuver... when it comes to real analysis - Arabs have always been a joke

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 10, 2012 8:45 AM
    Bunch of lawless lawmakers! In Africa laws are made for the people and the lawmakers and cohorts live above the law. Instead they expect the law to respect them. Morsi and his bunch of misfits are above the law, we need no other proof of his presidency, but they are going to make their own laws which they expect the people to obey - the people here excludes themselves and the president. Odd!
    In Response

    by: charlie from: California
    July 11, 2012 10:54 AM
    You are being sarcastic right? If you don't know how the French Revolution turned out you should sue the Nigerian school system. As for you your bigoted comment on Arab analysis abilities you are apparently too ignorant or bigoted to check out Aljajeera. That would open your eyes. But if you are writing as a Nigerian Christian (a sudden thought) I can understand where you are coming from 100%, Islam, but also our faith has had a nasty record of forcibly converting people. And I'm angry the Western powers are not demanding that your government protect its' Christians.

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