Egypt: Judicial Challenges Threaten Parliament With Dissolution

The court has, so far, received 1050 challenges which could lead to the annulling of membership of a large number of MPs, most of them belonging to the ruling party, if vote riggings or other irregularities are established by the court.

 A good example of this are the rulings issued by the court revoking the membership of National Party MPs for constituencies in Ma’adi , Nasr City, Hilliopolis and Qilleen ,Kafr el Sheikh, and Naboroh, Daqahleya, north of Egypt. While the court said in its ruling that the elections held in these constituencies are null and void, the rulings are usually referred to the Parliament which has a yearlong record of ignoring these decisions or rulings.

 The successive PA speakers have cited article 93 of the Constitution, saying that it gives them the final say in keeping or revoking membership of MPs. Legal experts accuse the PA of disrespecting the judicial rulings even that which are final and unchallengeable, saying that it encroaches on the other authorities and ignores the principle of separation between authorities.

The recently issued rulings have drawn criticisms and controversy in parliamentary and political circles. In an exclusive statement to Ikhwanweb, Vice President of the Cassation Court Chief Justice Ahmed Mekki said that the court has the final say in any disputes arising , seeing court rulings as abiding on all quarters including Parliament.

On the limits of the PA authority, the chief justice said that the PA has its authority on its members within its premises by ensuring that MPs abide by the protocols of Parliament, while the criminal, civil and judicial disputes are only adjudicated by court whose rulings must be observed by all quarters and individuals indiscriminately.

The chief justice lamented that ever since June 1989, the PA has ignored the rulings issued by courts against its MPs under the pretext that it has the exclusive right to establish or revoke the membership of its MPs, interpreting article 93 of the constitution in a way that empowers its successive speakers to ignore court rulings against their Members of Parliament.

Mr. Mekki decried this attitude on the part of the PA which capitalizes on the vagueness of the article, saying that this attitude not only runs counter to principles of law and constitution but it also conflicts with the common sense and moral principles.

In the same context, Member of MB Parliamentary Bloc Saad el Husseiny said in an exclusive statement to Ikhwanweb that rejecting court rulings on the part of the PA is that new, pointing out that the Egyptian PA record is full of thousands of rulings which have nullified the election in many constituencies but the Parliament does not adhere to these rulings, something which shows the absence of abidance by the principle of separation between authorities.

“What is the use of these court rulings while the Parliament does not abide by them”, el Husseiny lamented.