And the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces withdrew their security forces, allowing the parliament to reconvene in defiance of the court order. As I said yesterday, in this showdown between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, “the military is at a distinct disadvantage because of the Brotherhood’s broad popular support.” “Egypt’s parliament reconvenes as new crisis looms between Mursi and judiciary,” from al-Arabiya, July 10 (thanks to Voice of the Copts):
Egypt’s Islamist-led parliament reconvened on Tuesday in an open challenge to the generals who dissolved the assembly last month, stirring up tensions with the military just 10 days into Mohammed Mursi’s presidency.
Parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatni, who like Mursi hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, which has the biggest bloc in parliament, opened the session with a speech aired live on state television.
Mursi has reinstated the assembly, which was dissolved following a ruling on June 14 by Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court.
“We are gathered today to review the court rulings, the ruling of the Supreme Constitutional Court,” which ordered the house invalid, Katatni said.
“I want to stress, we are not contradicting the ruling, but looking at a mechanism for the implementation of the ruling of the respected court. There is no other agenda today,” he added.
Egypt’s top court has rejected Mursi’s decree, setting him on a collision course with the military which says the rule of law must be respected.
“All the rulings and decisions of the Supreme Constitutional Court are final and not subject to appeal… and are binding for all state institutions,” the court said in a statement Monday.
People’s Assembly Secretary General Sami Mahran was quoted by the online edition of the state-run al-Ahram as telling parliamentary correspondents on Monday that the assembly”s secretariat had “sent invitations to 508 MPs, asking them to return on July 10 and resume attending sessions and performing their parliamentary duties.”
“MPs were allowed to enter the parliament building today [Monday] after they had been barred by security forces on June 14 following the Supreme Constitutional Court verdict that led to the dissolution of parliament’s lower house,” he said.
Mursi’s surprise decree, according to Mahran, has overturned an order by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), commanding security forces to bar MPs from entering the parliament building.
“Tantawi’s order is no longer valid,” Mahran was quoted as saying. “It expired today by virtue of Mursi’s decree in the latter’s capacity as president of the republic.
“Some MPs had declared on satellite television channels that they planned to resign from the assembly to object to Mursi’s order, but I have not received any written resignations,” he said.
Meanwhile, the SCAF withdrew most security forces from the parliament building on Sunday only hours after Mursi’s decree.
Representatives of several secular parties have said they would boycott Tuesday”s scheduled assembly meeting, according to TV reports. …