Egyptian Supreme Court Decision Sparks Protests
Thousands protested in Cairo Tuesday following the Supreme Court’s ruling effectively redissolving parliament. The ruling froze President Mohammed Morsi‘s weekend decree which briefly brought parliament back in session Tuesday. Many had gathered prior to the ruling in a march of solidarity with the President’s decision, only to learn that the order had been suspended. President Morsi’s lawyers criticized the decision as merely political, and Muslim Brotherhood lawyer Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud said they have filed a lawsuit calling for the judges to be replaced. The legal community remains divided, with some questioning if executive decrees fall within the mandate of a constitutional court. Secretary Hilary Clinton, who is slated to visit Cairo at the end of the month, expressed concern for the development and called on all parties to engage in dialogue.
Meanwhile, President Morsi is traveling en route to Saudi Arabia on his first official visit outside of Egypt. Morsi will meet with King Abdullah where Egyptian-Iranian relations are reported to be a main focus of discussions. Tunisian President Moncef al-Marzouki will also meet with Morsi on Friday in Cairo. The two will discuss ways to improve bilateral relations in what will be the first presidential meeting between the two countries since the start of the Arab Spring.
Also, Robert Fisk writes how yesterday’s reconvening of parliament is proof of a decline in tensions between Morsi and the military, and not an increase as many analysts have argued. Fisk points to mirrored language in the legal explanations of Field Marshal Tantawi decision dissolving parliament, and President Morsi’s decree not long after ordering its reinstatement.