Wednesday, April 11, 2012

FJP to Appeal Verdict Against Egypt's Constituent Assembly

FJP to appeal verdict against Egypt's Constituent Assembly

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Apr 2012

Muslim Brotherhood's political arm vows to appeal Tuesday's court ruling challenging the constitutionality of body tasked with drafting national charter

Freedom and Justice Party lawyer Ahmed Abu-Baraka has announced the party's intention to appeal a Tuesday verdict issued by the Supreme Administrative Court that found Egypt's recently-established Constituent Assembly – tasked with drafting a new national charter – unconstitutional.

Speaking to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news service, Abu-Baraka asserted that the Tuesday verdict represented "a clear case" of the misapplication of law, as it violates the separation of Egypt's judicial and executive powers. He went on to accuse judicial authorities of "interfering in parliamentary decisions."

He added that the necessary procedures for lodging an appeal were already underway, calling on Parliament to simply ignore the decision, which he described as "illegitimate."

According to Muslim Brotherhood lawyer Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, the verdict also represents a breach of the constitutional principles approved via popular referendum in March of last year. He went on to assert that Egypt's Parliament "enjoys the right to function without supervision."

Meanwhile, Constituent Assembly member Wahid Abdel-Meguid has stated that the assembly's third meeting, slated for Wednesday, would likely be postponed due to the latest legal developments. He went on, however, to stress the importance of "finding a middle ground at which to open negotiations."

On Tuesday, Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court suspended the Constituent Assembly after ruling in favour of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the 100-member assembly. The case was subsequently referred to the State Council, which has the authority to pass it on to Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court.

The lawsuit was initially filed by a number of prominent lawyers, including Cairo University constitutional law professor Gad Nasser; Arab Centre for Transparency and Integrity Chairman Mohamed Shehata; Lawyers' Syndicate head Sameh Ashour; and presidential hopeful Khaled Ali.

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