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Egypt's Dissolved Parliament Meets In Defiance Of High Court, Military

  • RFE/RL

The defiant parliament meets in Cairo on July 10.

The defiant parliament meets in Cairo on July 10.

Egypt's parliament has briefly convened in what's seen as a challenge to the Supreme Court and powerful military, both of whom have called for the dissolution of the Islamist-dominated chamber.

The July 10 session, lasting just minutes, was broadcast live on television.

The lawmakers approved a motion to seek legal advice from a high appeals court on how to implement last month's Supreme Court ruling dissolving the recently elected legislature.

The Supreme Court ruled that the elections were flawed and so lawmakers should not take their seats.

On July 8, in defiance of the court ruling, new Islamist President Muhammad Morsi decreed that the lawmakers should get to work.

But this was quickly opposed by both the Supreme Court and military, which each issued statements on July 9 reaffirming their backing for the decision to dissolve the legislature.

Lawmakers who attended the session on July 10 spoke of the need to rebalance the mix of powers in Egypt in the wake of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections.

Since President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled for 30 years, was ousted in a popular uprising in February, 2011, the military has played the decisive role in Egypt's politics.

Restoring Power To 'The People'

Parliament deputy Muhammad al-Sagheer said he supported the presidential decree reinstating parliament because it restores a measure of power to its "rightful owners," the Egyptian people.

"And it is not a surprise, since the president declared the restoration of the elected parliament at the inauguration ceremony at Cairo University," Sagheer added.

"So this is a kind of fulfillment of his promise, the return of the country's institutions and the return of the supervision of power. We've never seen in any country in history where the legislative powers are in the hands of the military."

In another development on July 10, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the president and military to settle their differences for the good of Egypt's people.

Clinton said a failure to resolve the power struggle could risk derailing nation's democratic transition.

Clinton declined to take sides in the dispute, but cited what she described as Egypt's progress in holding competitive elections and in Morsi taking office as the first popularly elected president in Egypt's history.

But Clinton stressed that more needed to be done to secure the democratic transition in Egypt, which is the recipient of billions of dollars of U.S. aid.

With reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters
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