Egypt`s constitutional assembly case referred to Supreme court

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 18:56

Cairo: The process of framing Egypt`s new Constitution suffered a setback on Tuesday with an Administrative Court referring to the superior court a case that sought the dissolution of Islamist-dominated constituent assembly.
The Administrative Court in Cairo referred the law regulating the 100-member Constituent Assembly to the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The Assembly is being challenged for the process with which its members were chosen.

However, Muslim Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud described the Administrative Court`s decision as "positive," saying it used its judicial powers and that the move will enable the assembly to finish its works and introduce the Constitution to the people.

He said that the Supreme Constitutional Court needs at least two months to rule on the case, citing the law that obliges it to consider the cases 45 days after its referral.

The court is overseeing 48 lawsuits demanding the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly.

Plaintiffs claim that the assembly failed to proportionately represent various social sectors, and violated the interim Constitution by including MPs as members.

The move could further stoke tensions between Islamists and the Constitutional Court. The tensions between both sides flared after court in June decided to dissolve the Islamist-dominated People`s Assembly.

It is the second Constituent Assembly to be formed after the uprising that toppled president Mubarak last year. The first Islamist-dominated panel was dissolved in April for failing to represent all segments of society.

The panel released a draft constitution earlier this month that was slammed by human rights groups as failing to secure key freedoms.

Some articles, including those defining the powers of the judiciary and the role of the army, have not been made available to the public.

Last week, Egypt?s highest court criticised the panel, saying some of its proposals put the court back under the authority of the president.

The new constitution is to replace a 1971 charter suspended by the military, which took power when Mubarak was ousted in February last year.

The law related to Constituent Assembly is based on the Constitutional Declaration that has governed the country since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak.

The People`s Assembly had approved the law on the same day of its formation two days before Parliament was dissolved.

However, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces refused to pass the law.
After decreeing the return of the People`s Assembly, President Mohamed Morsy approved the stalled law to prevent the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 18:56

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