Egypt parliament set to meet, defying army

Reuters reports: Egypt’s parliamentary speaker said the chamber would reconvene on Tuesday after the new, Islamist president risked a showdown with the generals by quashing their decision to dissolve the assembly last month.

Quoted by the state news agency on Monday, Saad al-Katatni, who like President Mohamed Mursi hails from the long-suppressed Muslim Brotherhood, said the lower house would sit from noon (0600 EDT) on Tuesday, defying the army’s order to dismiss parliament a month ago, based on a court ruling.

Mursi issued his decree to recall parliament on Sunday barely a week after he took office. That threatened fresh uncertainty for a nation whose economy is on the ropes and where many are anxious for calm after 17 turbulent months since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

“Early confrontation,” wrote Al-Akhbar newspaper, summing up Mursi’s decision which could end a brief honeymoon with the military council, led by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

Yet Mursi and Tantawi showed no hint of discord on Monday when the president, as he did last week, attended a military parade. Seated next to each other, Mursi and Tantawi turned to each other in a brief jovial exchange, television images showed.

The military council which had run Egypt since Mubarak was toppled in February 2011 sought to trim the president’s authority before handing over to Mursi on June 30. It had dissolved parliament and taken legislative power for itself.

Mursi’s decision hands those powers back to a parliament packed with his Islamist allies. He also ordered new elections for parliament – once a constitution is passed by referendum.

Al-Masry Al-Youm reports: The Supreme Constitutional Court declared that all its verdicts are final and immune against appeals, stressing that it will not be a party to any political dispute.

The announcement came in the wake of a decision by President Mohamed Morsy to reinstate the People’s Assembly, which the court dissolved in mid-June because parts of the electoral law were unconstitutional.

The court, in a statement published by state news agency MENA, stressed that its sole mission is to defend the constitution against any encroachment and practice judicial scrutiny of the constitutionality of laws and regulations.

While hailed by Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Morsy’s move stirred controversy among other political groups that considered it a coup against the rule of law.

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