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Middle East

Egypt court suspends legislative vote

Egypt's administrative court orders the suspension of parliamentary elections scheduled to begin next month.
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2013 00:39
Anita McNaught reports from Port Said on the controversial decision to send in army troops to restore order

Egypt's administrative court has ordered the cancellation of controversial parliamentary elections scheduled for April 22, which the opposition vowed to boycott.

The court said in its ruling on Wednesday that it had ordered the cancellation of a decree issued by President Mohamed Morsi that called for parliamentary elections starting April 22.

It also said that it had referred the law governing the elections to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review.

The court said the reason behind the cancellation was that the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament, did not return the amended electoral law to the Supreme Constitutional Court for final review before passing it.

Under Morsi's decree, the lower house elections were due to be held under the amended electoral law over four stages.

The ruling further snarls Egypt's political crisis over the divisions between President Morsi and the mainly liberal and secular opposition.

The opposition had called a boycott of the elections, saying they should not be held amid anti-Morsi protests and unrest that have shaken the country for weeks.

The multi-phase election was due to begin in late April and last for nearly two months.

A statement from Morsi's office said the presidency respected the court ruling but stopped short of saying it would abide by it.

Presiding judge Abdel-Meguid el-Muqanen said that the law must be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine its conformity to the constitution.

Morsi's legal adviser, Mohammed Fouad Gadallah, said the state would appeal the administrative court ruling. At the same time, he said, it will submit the law to the constitutional court for review.

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Source:
Agencies
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