Jun. 2, 2013 (TSR) – Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court on Sunday ruled unconstitutional an article regulating the election of independent members of the Shura Council, the upper house, as well as the law on the composition of the Constitutional Assembly, the state-run al-Ahram online reported.
Two thirds of the council’s elected members were elected from party lists; the remaining third of elected members were independent.
Article 230 of the constitution states that the Shura Council cannot be dissolved until the House of Representatives convenes.
The Shura Council will be dissolved after a new People’s Assembly, the lower house, is elected, said the ruling.
Islamists-dominated Shura Council has assumed the legislative power temporarily, as the People’s Assembly was dissolved last year due to the unconstitutionality of the law articles that ruled the electoral process.
The court also voided the Emergency Law, saying that it included exceptional measures that could be taken by the president during the emergency state.
The verdict was issued amid intensive security measures outside the court due to the possible tensions between supporters of Islamist-oriented President Mohamed Morsi and his opponents.
The court also ruled that the law governing the composition of the Constituent Assembly, the body tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution, is unconstitutional. But the document was approved by national referendum in December, though opposition members withdrew from the body in protest, and was signed by President Morsi, which experts say makes it unlikely to face a challenge.
The ruling provides more ammunition to the opposition and civil society groups which are unhappy with the rule of President Mohamed Morsi and undermining the legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood dominated constituent assembly and the Shura Council.
The case examining the constitutionality of the Constituent Assembly was initially referred to the High Constitutional Court by the Administrative Court; now that the High Constitutional Court has issued its ruling, the Administrative Court will decide the fate of the constitution.