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The Revolution Clashes with the Law.

Egypt is standing today on the edge of the challenge between two decisions: one by the new president, Mohammad Morsi, to reinstate parliament, after it was dissolved by the Supreme Constitutional Court. The second decision involves the latter, which will convene today in order to decide on whether to overrule the president's decision.

The ongoing debate between Morsi and the Constitutional Court will revive the traditional conflict between the popular authority or the "Authority of the revolution," as highlighted through the voting ballots and under the assumption that Morsi is the "candidate of the rebels" as he describes himself; and the authority of the legal and judiciary institutions that are remaining from the past era, whereby the Supreme Court still has jurisdictions in issuing constitutional rulings, and interpreting or vetoing laws.

Morsi is defending himself based on the fact that he is elected by the people despite the slight majority that he obtained. Similarly, the Constitutional Court can defend itself based on the fact that it is the only side that has the right of issuing and interpreting rulings, in addition to the right to criticize the president in case he disobeys these rulings, bearing in mind that the post of president does not permit him to disobey the law.

The Military Council was quite cunning and wise when it anticipated the confrontation with Morsi and transformed it into a confrontation between the latter and the Constitutional Court. Indeed, the decision that this court has taken -of dissolving the newly elected parliament - would not have went by without many complications and outcomes.

The timing of the decision raised several questions especially that it was issued right before the elections. Morsi's victory in the elections caused an increase in the complications as the result of the conviction of the new president, his supporters, and his popular base that the dissolution of the parliament was not a purely judiciary decision but rather a political decision aimed at creating a "balance" between the legislative authority and the presidency.

Thus, the Muslim Brothers would not be allowed to monopolize both authorities. The available information for the Military Council on the eve of the elections had indicated that Morsi will be the next president. The council knew that any attempt at "modifying" or manipulating this popular choice will lead to a confrontation with dire consequences, not only within Egypt but also within the relationships of the army with the Western parties that encouraged the army to respect the decision of the popular legitimacy.

By leaping above the decision of the court and reinstating the dissolved parliament, Morsi has decided to push the confrontation with the army and the highest judiciary authority in the state to its maximum levels. Thus, the new president is not only clashing with the army, which was expected anyway in light of the history of the relationship between the two sides, but he is also clashing with a binding constitutional ruling while he has the primary responsibility of watching over the implementation of the constitution and all the laws.

In this sense, the Military Council has made a smart move by placing Morsi in this unenviable, unconstitutional position. By adopting the decision of dissolving the parliament and re-taking the legislative authority, the Military Council was carrying out a judiciary ruling. However, through his decision to restore the parliament, Morsi was blatantly violating the ruling of the Constitutional Court. The latter responded yesterday by stressing on that "all its decisions and rulings are final; not subject to appeal by law; and binding to all of the state's authorities."






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Publication:Dar Al Hayat, International ed. (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jul 10, 2012
Previous Article:Ayoon Wa Azan (No Longer an Example to be Followed).
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