Top court delays crucial verdicts on Shura Council, Constituent Assembly

Top court delays crucial verdicts on Shura Council, Constituent Assembly

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Tue, 15/01/2013 - 18:29

The Supreme Constitutional Court on Tuesday referred a controversial case on the potential dissolution of the Shura Council to its board of commissioners.

The court asked its board to prepare new recommendations in light of the approval of the 2012 Constitution in December and considering arguments made during Tuesday's hearing. The Constitution codified the parliamentary elections law upon which the People's Assembly had been dissolved, thus giving the law constitutional legitimacy.

Privately owned Al-Watan newspaper reported that in November the initial commissioners’ report had recommended the court again rule the law that governed parliamentary elections unconstitutional, as it did when it deemed the People's Assembly vote unconstitutional last year.

In June 2012, the court took issue with articles of the law that allowed party candidates to run against independents for certain seats. The same law governed elections for the upper house of Parliament, but the cases against the People's Assembly and the Shura Council have been brought before the court separately.

The Constitution approved in December states in Article 231: “The first legislative elections following the adoption of this Constitution shall be held in the following manner: Two-thirds of the seats are to be contested by a list-based electoral system and one-third by individual candidates, with parties and independent candidates allowed to run in each.”

The court is also considering the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly that wrote the Constitution and has set 3 February as the date for its ruling.

Law experts believe the popular referendum, in which more than 60 percent of voters who went to the polls approved the Constitution, immunizes the Constituent Assembly from dissolution.

Edited translation from MENA