Morsi defies Egypt military by recalling parliament

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has ordered the return of the dissolved parliament, in a challenge to the powerful military that had enforced a court decision to disband the Islamist-led legislature.

Morsi on Sunday issued a presidential decree annulling the decision taken last month to dissolve the People's Assembly and invited the chamber to convene again.

The decree also stipulates the organisation of new parliamentary elections two months after the approval by referendum of the country's new constitution and the adoption of a new law regulating parliament.

Morsi's move was likely to heighten tensions with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which ruled the country after president Hosni Mubarak was toppled by a popular uprising and until Morsi was sworn in last month.

The SCAF, headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi convened an urgent meeting "to discuss the presidential measures" state television said.

"Morsi says to SCAF: Check mate," read the headline of the independent daily Al-Watan, as Al-Tahrir, another daily, declared "Morsi defeats SCAF."

The move, described by some papers as a "political earthquake," has also put Morsi on a collision course with the country's judiciary and some secular parties.

"In any decent and democratic country, a president cannot disrespect the judiciary," said Rifaat al-Said, the head of the leftist Al-Tagammu party.

"Whether Morsi likes it or not, he must respect the judiciary's decisions," he told state television.

Said said a march to parliament would be organised later on Monday, and stressed that "several parties will boycott parliament's sessions."

The military dissolved parliament last month after Egypt's top court made its controversial ruling, a day before the second round of the presidential poll that saw the Islamist Morsi become Egypt's first democratically elected head of state.

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi stood down after his election, at the time described the move as a "soft coup," accusing the military of seeking to monopolise power and demanding a referendum.

The Supreme Constitutional Court had said certain articles in the law governing parliamentary elections were invalid, annulling the Islamist-led house.

It also ruled as unconstitutional the political isolation law, which sought to bar senior members of Mubarak's regime and top members of his now-dissolved party from running for public office for 10 years.

Morsi beat Ahmed Shafiq -- Mubarak's last prime minister -- in the presidential election.

The SCAF issued a constitutional declaration granting the military sweeping powers and in the absence of a parliament -- in which nearly half of the seats had been won by the Muslim Brotherhood and another quarter by hardline Salafists -- it assumed legislative power.

SCAF's document, which rendered the president's post toothless, had caused outrage among those calling for the military to return to their barracks.

Instead of being sworn in before parliament, the 60-year-old Morsi took the oath on June 30 before the constitutional court.

US President Barack Obama will meet Egypt's new president at the UN General Assembly in New York in September, an official in Washington told AFP on Sunday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is to visit Cairo on July 14, has congratulated Morsi on his election but cautioned that his victory was just a first step towards true democracy.

Clinton's deputy, Bill Burns, was in Cairo on Sunday on the last day of a three-day visit for a wide range of meetings.

Despite Morsi's Islamist background, the confirmation of his election brought relief to Obama's administration, which feared that the military would not accept his victory and provoke new chaos in Egypt.

Morsi put Washington further at ease shortly after his victory announcement when he pledged to be a leader for all Egypt, where around 10 percent of the population is Christian, and to honour the country's 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP
    ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP

    Security officials yesterday maintained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has not penetrated the Philippines following an expert’s warning that the group poses a threat to the country. Abu Sayyaf, BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), private armed groups to our knowledge are the people making problems down south,” Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. said. The BIFF and the Abu Sayyaf have pledged allegiance to the ISIS but it remains uncertain whether they are …

  • Cerbo named national police intel chief
    Cerbo named national police intel chief

    Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina yesterday ordered the appointment of PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. as chief of the Directorate for Intelligence. …

  • Pump prices up anew
    Pump prices up anew

    Oil companies announced yesterday another round of price hikes with independent oil firms among the first to issue their respective announcements. PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm, and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, another independent oil company, were among the first to issue their respective advisories. Seaoil Philippines also issued its announcement. …

  • PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing
    PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing

    The Philippine National Police will simplify requirements for getting a firearm’s permit under the new gun control law, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said yesterday. Espina said they are working to simplify the process to secure a license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) amid complaints of excessive requirements from gun holders. Espina directed the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) to make it easier for legitimate gun owners to comply with the …

  • Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals
    Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals

    World boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took time out yesterday from final preparations for his $400-million megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to plead for the life of a Filipina on death row in Indonesia. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, added his voice to a chorus of global opposition led by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the executions of a group of foreign drug convicts, including compatriot Mary Jane Veloso. The eight-division world champion, who will face …

  • Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700
    Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700

    Foreign rescue teams equipped with heavy cutting gear and relief supplies were landing round the clock at Nepal’s only international airport on the outskirts of Kathmandu, which has been devastated by Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake. “We need more helicopters for our rescue operations in rural areas,” said Nepal Home Affairs spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal. In a statement issued yesterday, Aquino said a team from the Philippine embassy in New Delhi, India would travel to Nepal to meet the needs …

  • Heat index to rise to 39.9ºC on Friday
    Heat index to rise to 39.9ºC on Friday

    People in Metro Manila should stay indoors on Friday, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and drink plenty of water as the heat index – the temperature as felt by the human body – may reach 39.9 degrees Celsius on that day. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said this level of apparent temperature may cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. “Heat index is a human discomfort index that gives the apparent temperature, or …

  • Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug-convict executions
    Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug-convict executions

    By Kanupriya Kapoor and Jane Wardell CILACAP, Indonesia/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Indonesia said the execution of nine drug traffickers would go ahead this week, rebuffing last-minute appeals from Australia and the Philippines to spare their nationals and ignoring a decision by the Constitutional Court to hear a final challenge. Australia began the day with a plea for a stay in the execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, saying reports that their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options