Morsi decree creates ´political earthquake´ in Egypt (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) By Jailan Zayan 07/09/12)
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A decision by Egypt´s new president to reinstate parliament was a
bold challenge to the military that dissolved the house, but some
politicians slammed it as a constitutional coup that shows no regard
for the judiciary or democracy.
President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday issued a decree ordering the
Islamist-led lower house back a month after the Supreme
Constitutional Court found certain articles in the law on
parliamentary elections to be invalid, and annulling it.
Days later, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which was
running the country before Morsi became president, dissolved
parliament based on the ruling.
"Morsi´s decision to return parliament until new elections are held
is the first step to reversing the constitutional declaration," said
leftist activist Wael Khalil, adding that more steps had to be taken
to "restore all authority to those elected."
The SCAF issued a constitutional declaration -- a temporary charter --
granting itself sweeping powers including legislative power, causing
outrage among those who wanted the army to return to barracks after
overseeing the transition from Hosni Mubarak´s rule.
Morsi´s decree was hailed by some who wanted the military out of
politics and who saw that the constitutional declaration rendered the
post of the elected president toothless.
"How can some be against the constitutional declaration... and when
(the president) starts to take back his power from the military, they
get angry?" asked writer and political commentator Alaa al-Aswany.
"President Morsi (elected) took legislative powers from SCAF (not
elected) and gave it to the people´s assembly (elected)," wrote long-
time activist Ahmed Zahran on Twitter.
The presidential decree also stipulates the organisation of new
parliamentary elections two months after the approval by referendum
of the country´s new constitution and the adoption of a new law
Some papers described Morsi´s decision as a "political earthquake,"
forcing the powerful military to face off with the president for
"Morsi says to SCAF: Checkmate," read the headline of the independent
daily Al-Watan, as Al-Tahrir, another daily, declared "Morsi defeats
The decision also angered the Supreme Constitutional Court which
rejected Morsi´s decree and said its rulings were binding on all
state institutions, insisting, however, that it is not "part of any
But some slammed the president´s decision as a "constitutional coup."
"The executive decision to bring back parliament shows a disregard
for the judicial authority and takes Egypt into a constitutional coma
and a conflict between the institutions," Nobel laureate and
political dissident Mohamed ElBaradei wrote on Twitter.
The decree was slammed by some secular politicians who had criticised
the Muslim Brotherhood´s monopolisation of power since the start of
"SCAF has to move against this constitutional coup: Egypt is not
ruled by the Brotherhood´s guidance council," said liberal MP
Mohammed Abu Hamed.
"In any decent and democratic country, a president cannot disrespect
the judiciary," said Rifaat al-Said, head of the leftist Al-Tagammu
"Whether Morsi likes it or not, he must respect the judiciary´s
decisions," he told state television.
The constitutional declaration issued by the army was described by
the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi stood down after his
election, as a "soft coup," heightening tensions between the army and
the Brotherhood after 15 months of political upheaval.
Some such as former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh
found in Morsi´s decision a gentle way out of that confrontation.
"Respect for the popular will by restoring the elected parliament and
respect for the judiciary by holding parliamentary elections is the
way out of this crisis," Abul Fotouh wrote on Twitter. (Copyright ©
2012 Agence France Presse. 07/09/12)
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