Egypt court rules both Islamist-dominated Senate and constitution illegal

egyptian government upheavalEgypt’s top court has ruled the Islamist-dominated Senate or Shura Council and the panel that drafted the new constitution illegal.

The country’s Supreme Constitutional Court delivered its judgment on Sunday. The court stated that the laws governing the election of members of the Islamist-dominated Shura Council were unlawful.

The court also ruled against the panel that drafted the constitution.

The case against the Shura Council was based on several challenges by lawyers. They challenged the law that governed the election of its members. They argued that there were irregularities in the mechanism of the election, and that the temporary legislative power the Shura was given was illegal.

Both the upper and lower houses were elected under the same electoral law, which the Supreme Court last year had deemed invalid, prompting the dissolution of parliament.

In advance of the landmark rulings which declared Islamist-dominated Shura Council and the panel that drafted the new constitution illegal, dozens had staged a sit-in outside the Supreme Court, arguing that the Shura Council’s panel was not legitimate as it failed to represent all Egyptians after it was boycotted by liberals, leftists, and Christians.

This court case was at the heart of the nation’s worst political crisis since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, two years ago.

According to reports, although the Shura Council has been declared invalid, the court has ruled that it would not be dissolved until such time that a new parliament was in place.

This election of the Shura Council and its panel has divided Egypt, and pitted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters against the opposition which includes secularists, leftists, Christians and also deeply religious Muslims. It has also sparked deadly riots across the nation.

“No to Muslim Brotherhood terrorism,” read some the signs held up by protesters outside the Egypt’s court before the court ruled that both the Shura Council and the panel that drafted the new constitution were illegal and invalid.

By Perviz Walji

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