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Egyptian Court Says New Parliament Unconstitutional

Al-Ahram reports that the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) on Monday referred several articles of the law governing parliamentary polls to the State Council, the legal body tasked with deciding disputes related to the exercise of state power. The move is raising doubts in Cairo as to whether Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections were constitutional.

The State Council is now expected to request a decision from Egypt’s High Constitutional Court (HCC) regarding the conformity of the articles in question with the national constitution.

Even though the HCC will decide on the constitutionality of an election that saw political party members vying for the one third of assembly seats reserved for individual candidates, the shadow of the scenario seen in 2010 parliamentary polls continues to haunt Egypt’s post-revolution political scene.

In December of 2010, the legality of recently-concluded parliamentary polls was called into question by the SAC. The court eventually invalidated the results of two rounds of polling, ordering that the announcement of results be halted and demanding that the elections be declared void and that new elections be held. The ruling came after the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) had ignored hundreds of earlier rulings by administrative courts countrywide challenging the electoral process.

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