Egypt's Islamists dig in against 'dissolution' verdicts

News article, posted 07.16.2012, from Egypt, in:
Gamal Essam El-Din
Egypt's Islamists dig in against 'dissolution' verdicts (Photo: Reuters)

The executive office of the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution is due to hold an urgent meeting tomorrow. Amr Darrag, the assembly’s secretary-general, indicated that the meeting would be entirely devoted to discussing the Administrative Court ruling expected Tuesday on the dissolution of the assembly. Darrag said the urgent meeting would be followed by a press conference to explain to the public the position of the executive office regarding expected verdicts.

Darrag, a leading official of Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said “There is a high sense of concern that the verdict of the Administrative Court on Tuesday will be in favour of dissolving the 100-member assembly, and so we decided to hold a meeting one day ahead of this verdict to review all options against it.”

“The members of the assembly were highly worried by last week’s decision of the State Council (to which the Administrative Court belongs) to give a verdict on all appeals aimed at invalidating the assembly on 17 July rather than 4 September as was earlier announced,” Darrag said.

“This is a bad signal that the verdict expected Tuesday will be politicised as usual.”

State Council officials said the verdict on the appeals was pushed forward to 17 July after lawyers submitted a petition complaining that 4 September was too late.

Darrag and several FJP officials launched a hostile campaign against the judiciary in recent days, accusing it of issuing “politicised” verdicts and saying that its members belong to the old regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Mohamed El-Beltagi, a leading FJP official, surprised all Saturday by insisting that “The activities and the meetings of the [Constituent Assembly] will go on even if Cairo’s Administrative Court orders on 17 July that these activities be suspended and the assembly itself dissolved.”

El-Beltagi added: “We will not ignore the judicial order but the assembly’s activities will continue as a civil society interested in writing Egypt’s new constitution and that its members are volunteers.”

Joining forces with El-Beltagi, Ayman Nour, the assembly’s deputy secretary-general and chairman of the Revolution Tomorrow Party, said: “It is by no means reasonable that efforts that have so far been exerted in writing Egypt’s new constitution come to an abrupt end by the Administrative Court.”

Nour explained: “We mean that even if the court ordered the dissolution of the assembly, its activities would not stop and would continue until the constitution-drafting committee finishes its job.”


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