U.S. Senators Visit Egypt, Court Postpones Decision on Parliament
A group of US Senators including John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Christopher Coons, (D-DE) arrived in Egypt on Tuesday to meet with senior government officials, including President Morsi, and members of the opposition movements. During the three-day visit the senators are expected to discuss Egypt’s democratic transition and regional issues like the situation in Syria and Palestine. The Media spokesperson of the National Salvation Front confirmed that the opposition group had assembled a committee that plans to meet with the McCain-led delegation, while Aboul Moneim Fotouh’s Strong Egypt Party released a statement saying they would not meet with the delegation because of Senator McCain’s “absolute” support for Israel and support of the war in Iraq, among other things.
Also today in Egypt, the country’s top court postponed a ruling on a case that challenged the legitimacy of the upper house of parliament. A ruling either way threatened to increase Egypt’s political uncertainty but the case was referred back to an advisory legal panel for review. If the upper house had been found invalid, Morsi would have had to take over legislative powers until elections, which are expected in April. The upper house can continue working for now but Reuters reports that it’s unknown when the court will release their decision and that “ it is not clear which way the court will rule when it does finally issue a decision.”
The court also postponed on Tuesday a case challenging the make-up of the assembly that drew up the newly approved constitution. The case will be heard by the court in a session on February 3.