Egypt top court rules key post-Mubarak institutions invalid | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 02.06.2013
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Middle East

Egypt top court rules key post-Mubarak institutions invalid

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court has ruled that a panel, which drafted the country's newly implemented constitution, was elected illegally. The court also said that the upper house of parliament was not legitimate.

epa03519903 A Handout photograph released by the Egyptian Presidency shows President Mohamed Morsi (R) delivering a speech to Members of Parliament, at the Shura Council, in Cairo, Egypt, 29 December 2012. The newly adopted constitution allows the Shura Council to exercise legislative powers, which had temporarily been vested in the presidency, until a new lower house is elected. The constitution, drafted by an Islamist-led panel, was approved by 63.8 per cent of votes cast in a two-round referendum held this december. EPA/EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY/HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

Parlament Kairo Ägypten

Sunday's court ruling could undermine the legitimacy of Egypt's new constitution, which was passed in a December 2012 referendum amid mass protests by liberal and secular groups opposed to the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

During the drafting of the constitution, many liberals and secularists boycotted the panel, accusing Islamists of dominating the process. The constitution won more than 60 percent approval amid low voter turnout. Opponents said the document does not give strong enough protections to human rights and fundamental freedoms. 

The Supreme Constitutional Court also ruled on Sunday that the upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, had been elected illegally. But the council will only be dissolved once the new lower house of parliament is elected, according to the court ruling.

The council has been the de facto legislative power in Egypt since the top court dissolved the lower house of parliament in June 2012. Both the upper and lower houses were governed by the same electoral law, which the court says is flawed. The Muslim Brotherhood dominates both chambers. 

Virtually all of Egypt's post-Mubarak institutions - the upper and lower houses of parliament as well as the constitutional panel - have now been ruled illegitimate by the judiciary.

slk/ipj (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)