- An Egyptian court today ruled that the parliamentary elections, which President Mohammed Morsi had decreed for 22 April, must be postponed. Judges say the Constitutional Court needs time to approve the new Electoral Code. Mr Morsi says he will appeal the ruling.
Egypt has struggled to establish a legitimate legislative ever since the revolution. Now, the country's judiciary is causing yet another hurdle to the process.
The last parliamentary elections in Egypt were only held in 2011-12, but the country's Constitutional Court in June last year declared the elections void as the Electoral Code used was deemed unconstitutional. As a result, the court held, the allocation of parliamentary seats between the political parties had been wrong. The court ordered a new Electoral Code and new elections to be held.
Meanwhile, the government of President Morsi has elaborated and adopted a new Electoral Code. In February, the President decreed that parliamentary elections were to be held in late April this year. The polls were to go over four stages and start 22 April.
However, several opposition politicians have filed complaints to the judiciary about the date of the election and the Electoral Code. Today, according to the Egyptian media 'Ahram Online', Egypt's Administrative Court partly agreed to the complaints and overturned the presidential decree.
The court ruling said that the Constitutional Court first would need time to study the changes made to the Electoral Code by the Morsi administration, thereby postponing the planned elections. Already in February, the court had pointed out that five articles in the new electoral law were unconstitutional. These articles have been amended by government without consulting with the courts.
The Administrative Court did not mention a timetable for the process, neither for when Egypt finally can elect a legitimate parliament.
According to 'Ahram Online', the Cairo presidency has already reacted to the court ruling. President Morsi's spokesman said government would "respect" the court order and stop further preparations for the elections. However, government would appeal the ruling, as it was the understanding of the President that he solely had the right to decide on the election date, it further was reported.
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