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.

 

Saudi mosque attack intended to fan sectarian tension

Israeli deputy FM: 'All of it is ours'

Obama offers Tunisia closer security ties

IS fighters attack Iraq forces east of Ramadi

Israel solicits Platini to sway FIFA

Sudan's Islamists protest against el-Sisi

Islamic State claims Saudi mosque bombing

Islamic State reinforces ‘caliphate’ with control of borders

Iraqi forces to launch Ramadi offensive

Tunis asks Rome to extradite terror suspect

Suicide bomb attack on Saudi Shiite mosque

Saudi-led coalition warplanes pound Sanaa outskirts

Shebab gunmen raid Kenya village

Kuwait businessman Khorafi dies at 75

Yemen air strikes continue as Iran calls for talks

Israeli court orders release of Khalida Jarrar

Netanyahu meets with Arab leader Ayman Odeh

U.S. sanctions two companies linked to Iran's plane purchases

Iran supports Yemen talks, denounces foreign interference

IS militants call for attacks on Egypt's judges

11 killed in fresh Libya violence

Assad regime losses in Syria

Obama looks to bolster Tunisia's democratic gains

Turkey opposition unveils plan to build new 'mega-city' in Anatolia

Iraqi prime minister seeks Russian support against Islamic State

Iraq's Sunni tribes feel distrust towards Baghdad after Ramadi fall

Morocco illegal migrant arrest fuels Italy row

Qatar ‘failing to deliver’ on promised labour reforms

US to sell bombs, missiles to Israel, helicopters to Saudis

IS jihadists in full control of Syria's Palmyra

Yemen government wants rebel pullback before joining Geneva talks

Morocco King names four new ministers in second reshuffle

Gaza reconstruction going ‘far more slowly than expected’

France kills two jihadist chiefs in Sahel region

Clashes with ‘Islamic State’ rage on near Libya city of Sirte

Protests in Tunisia phosphate-producing region intensify

Iran aid ship to dock in Djibouti for inspection

Israel to face FIFA suspension bid

Letters of Bin Laden reveal accurate fear of surveillance

Yemen talks to open May 28 in Geneva

‘Islamic State’ fighters take control of Palmyra northern sector

Palestinian driver shot by Israeli police

New Egypt justice minister sworn in after judge's gaffe

IS, Syria regime locked in fierce battles near Palmyra

Rajoub: Conditions not ready for Israel-Palestine "match for peace"