Egypt Independent

ElBaradei: Shura Council tampering with freedoms, judicial independence



Opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei criticized the Islamist-dominated Shura Council, describing it as incompetent and saying it tried to undermine freedoms and the judiciary.

ElBaradei, a longtime reform advocate and Dostour Party leader, wondered on Twitter whether representatives of secular parties in the Shura Council who believe in democracy should continue being members.

The Constitution, adopted in a December referendum and which the opposition criticizes as impartial, granted full legislative powers to the Shura Council — normally Egypt’s lower house of Parliament — until the House of Representatives elections.

However, Council Speaker Ahmed Fahmy said a few months ago that the council would not use these powers except in very limited ways.

According to the High Judicial Elections Commission, participation in the first round of the Shura Council elections was 15 percent. It was 12.2 percent in the second round and 6 percent in the individual seat runoffs.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won 58.5 percent of the seats, followed by the Salafi Nour Party, which won 25 percent.

The council is now discussing the Judicial Authority Law in preparation for its approval. The Judges Club sent a warning to Fahmy Sunday, requesting that he not pass the Judicial Authority Law because the legislative powers the Constitution grants it are temporary and limited to “pressing” matters.

The warning also said the Judges Club is the legitimate representative of judges and should be consulted on any law pertaining to them.