Some members of the Egyptian parliament met briefly on Tuesday, in defiance of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and in accordance with the call of President Muhammad Morsi to convene. Morsi over-ruled the SCAF junta’s dissolution of the parliament elected late last fall, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other parties of the Egyptian Religious Right.
Morsi took on not only SCAF but also the Egyptian courts. So, as soon as Morsi issued an executive order instructing parliament to reconvene, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled his decree unconstitutional. Morsi dismissed the new ruling, saying that the SCC lacked the prerogative to make such a ruling.
Then the speaker of the House, Saad al-Katatni, took the floor at the brief parliamentary meeting, saying that parliament wanted the Supreme Administrative court to rule on the dissolution of parliament. the Supreme Administrative Court has the authority to over-rule the president.
The supreme Administrative court has said that it will not rule until next Tuesday
Katatni’s call for the courts to rule on the dissolution of parliament came as a surprise to me. What if the court rules against the Brotherhood? What of the bravado about staying in session until new elections are held.
There are two possibilities here. One is that the Brotherhood has decided to step back from the brink to which Morsi had taken them.
The other is that the Brotherhood is attempting to maneuver SCAF into acknowledging that it should have been a civilian court that decided to implement the the Supreme Constituional Court’s ruling. Morsi may be playing a long game, and carefully asserting his authority, and that of other civilian actors, over the military.
The coming days will inform us as to which is the case.