Mukhtar Ashri, Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)’s Legal Committee, on July 8 affirmed that President Mohamed Morsi has exercised his right under Egyptian law and Constitution in his move to reinstate Parliament.
“The Presidential Decree sides with popular will, and certainly does not challenge the rule of law. The decision of the Constitutional Court gave a ruling about actions that would come in the future to reform parliament laws. The same story is now being repeated with the Shura Council (first chamber of Egyptian Parliament), by transferring the case to the Constitutional Court, just like in the case of parliament law. I expect President Morsi will support the rule of law and popular will.”
Dr. Morsi issued a Presidential Decree No. 11 / 2012, reinstating the dissolved People’s Assembly (lower house of Parliament), inviting it to convene and exercise all its powers under Article 33 of the Constitutional Declaration.
Besides reinstating the elected parliament, the Presidential decree, which is to be published in the Official Gazette, promises to hold early parliamentary elections, within 60 days from date of approval by Parliament of the new Constitution.
The presidential move has been widely acclaimed in the Egyptian society. Justice Maher Beheiri, the new president of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), affirmed that President Morsi’s decree reinstating the People’s Assembly is completely valid, and does not conflict with the Constitutional Court’s ruling.
In a call to the satellite TV channel ‘Al-Jazeera Egypt Live’, he further added that this presidential decree rescinds the decision of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to disband the People’s Assembly, but indeed does not disregard or intervene in the earlier ruling of the Constitutional Court.
Dr. Seif Abdel-Fattah, Professor of Economics and Political Science, hailed the President’s decree to reinstate the freely elected parliament. He said this is a step in the right direction, because it emphasises the rightful return of power to the elected institution.
Dr. Tharwat Badawi, Professor of Constitutional Law at Cairo University, assured that President Morsi, as the only legitimate elected authority now, is entitled to disregard the so-called complementary constitutional declaration. He also has the right to ignore the decree issued by SCAF head Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi to disband Parliament based on the Constitutional Court ruling earlier in June 2012.
“The Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction but to rule over the constitutionality of laws. That jurisdiction is limited in scope to deciding on the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of legislative texts referred to it by the administrative, civil or criminal courts.
“The Constitutional Court has no right to delve into the matter and dictate implications of the ruling of any unconstitutionality.”