Egypt's top court delays ruling on constitution
Cairo: Egypt's top court today postponed a sensitive ruling on the legality of the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly that drafted a controversial new constitution, an issue that has strained ties between the executive and the judiciary.
After being set to rule on the nullification of the Constituent Assembly today, the Supreme Constitutional Court delayed its verdict until March 3, the Egypt Independent reported.
At its session today, under Counselor Maher el-Beheiri, the court adjourned its ruling in the lawsuit, filed by several lawyers and human rights activists, challenging the constitutionality of the 100-member assembly and demanding its dissolution.
In the lawsuit, they said the panel does not represent or express the opinions of all segments of the Egyptian society as it includes members of the dismantled People's Assembly and the Shura Council, thus it should be declared null and void, the state-run MENA news agency reported.
A judicial source had said earlier that the lawsuit would probably be rejected, as the Constitution has already been passed, rendering any decision to dissolve the body largely moot.
The source was quoted by Al-Masry Al-Youm that that a non-binding report from the court's commissioner's board recommended rejecting the lawsuit.
Supreme Constitutional Court rulings have played a pivotal role in Egypt's transition to democracy, and relations between the court and President Mohammed Mursi's Islamist-dominated government grew after the court disbanded the Islamist- dominated People's Assembly last June over the unconstitutionality of the parliamentary elections law.
Islamist supporters of Mursi had besieged the court during previous sessions, forcing the court to cancel a session where it was supposed to issue a verdict on the Constituent Assembly last year.