First Published: 2013-01-15

 

Egypt top court postpones rulings on charter, Senate

 

Court will rule on constitutional panel on February 3, refers legality of upper house to its adivsory body.

 

Middle East Online

Opposition: Panel fails to represent all Egyptians

CAIRO - Egypt's top court postponed on Tuesday key rulings on the validity of the Islamist-dominated Senate and of the committee that drew up a controversial constitution approved by referendum last month.

It will rule on the constitutional panel on February 3 and has referred the legality of the upper house to its adivsory body, the official MENA agency reported.

Dozens of demonstrators had staged a sit-in in Cairo overnight outside the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) on the banks of the Nile, as riot police formed a cordon around the building.

Two-thirds of the Senate, the 270-member upper house known as the Shura Council, were elected in a vote early last year, with one third appointed by President Mohamed Morsi in December.

Following several lawsuits arguing there were irregularities in the mechanics of the election, the court is to decide whether or not the upper house -- which was given temporary legislative powers after the dissolution of the lower house -- is legal.

The court will also rule on the legality of an Islamist-dominated panel that drafted the country's constitution which is at the heart of the nation’s worst political crisis since the overthrow nearly two years ago of president Hosni Mubarak.

The opposition argues that the panel failed to represent all Egyptians as it was boycotted by liberals, leftists and Christians.

The charter has divided Egypt, pitting Islamist President Morsi and his backers against the opposition which includes secularists, leftists and Christians as well as Muslims.

"No to Muslim Brotherhood terrorism," read placards held up by protesters.

"The Muslim Brotherhood constitution is void. Mohamed Morsi is void," they chanted.

In theory, the new constitution protects the Senate from dissolution until a new People's Assembly is elected, adding further confusion to the legal chaos plaguing the country.

The two cases were scheduled to be heard on December 2 but pro-Morsi protesters gathered in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court preventing judges from entering the court and prompting the court to suspend its work.

The latest political crisis was ignited by a decree issued by Morsi granting him sweeping powers and making his decisions immune from judicial review.

He later backtracked on the decree but rushed through the constitution which critics say fails to protect key rights and allows for varying interpretations of Islamic law.

 

Ansar al-Sharia denies killing of Abu Iyadh in US air strike

Egypt President in Sinai after jihadist attacks on security forces

Hezbollah backs Syria army in major assault on border city

No guarantee of success as Iran nuclear talks inch closer to lasting deal

Lawlessness in Libya poses real danger for Tunisia

Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

Coalitions of Syria rebels battle regime forces in Aleppo

Syria mosque explosion kills at least 25 Nusra fighters

Yemen Huthi rebels ‘attack’ various areas in Saudi Arabia

Egypt ‘in state of war’ on second anniversary of Islamist ouster

Rockets from Sinai strike Israel

Palestinians arrest 100 Hamas members in West Bank

Erdogan inaugurates public mosque in palace

Islamists form alliance in battle for Aleppo

Top Tunisian jihadist reportedly killed by US strike in Libya

Emir attends joint Shiite, Sunni prayers in Kuwait

Hamas denies involvement in Sinai attacks

4 Qaeda suspects killed in US drone attack in Yemen

'Series of errors' behind Air Algerie crash in Mali

Ankara has no plans for imminent intervention in Syria

21 killed in clashes, strikes in Yemen's Aden

GCC states vow united stand against IS mosque bombings

Palestinians protest one year after teenager burned alive

Egypt vows to wipe out 'dens of terror'

Tunisia arrests eight in connection with beach massacre

Youth in Tunisia 'ripe for radicalisation'

UN sends mission to 'assess' South Sudan atrocities

Syria urges citizens to enlist

AQAP step up campaign to eradicate qat

Iraq Christians train for jihad against IS

British FM: 'No breakthrough yet' in Iran nuclear talks

UN imposes first sanctions on six South Sudan generals

Libya rival governments will not return to peace talks

Fighting rages in Yemen’s Aden

Egypt government adopts anti-terror law

Kurds warn Turkey against any ‘aggression’ in Syria

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after suicide bombing

Kuwait parliament approves deficit budget on oil slide

Pro-Erdogan candidate becomes new speaker of Turkey parliament

‘War’ in Sinai Peninsula as clashes with ISIS fighters rage on

All 38 victims of Tunisia beach massacre identified

36 killed in wave of IS attack on Egyptian soldiers

Iran vs. Israel gets cartoon treatment

IAEA chief to fly to Iran for nuclear talks

Saudi prince pledges fortune to charity