CAIRO - Egypt’s new President Mohamed Mursi issued a decree on Sunday annulling the Supreme Court’s dissolution of the Islamist-dominated parliament, the official MENA news agency reported.
It said the decree stipulates “the organisation of elections for the chamber, 60 days after the approval by referendum of the country’s new constitution and the adoption of a new law regulating parliament.”
Egypt’s top court made the controversial move last month, a day before the second round of the presidential election that saw the Mursi become Egypt’s first democratically elected head of state. The Supreme Constitutional Court had said certain articles in the law governing parliamentary elections were invalid, annulling the house.
It also ruled as unconstitutional the political isolation law, which sought to bar senior members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s regime and top members of his now-dissolved party from running for public office for 10 years. Mursi beat Ahmed Shafiq - Mubarak’s last prime minister - in the presidential election. In the absence of a parliament - in which nearly half of the seats had been won by the Muslim Brotherhood and another quarter by hardline Salafists - the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces itself assumed legislative power. The Brotherhood, formerly headed by Mursi, accused the SCAF of seeking to monopolise power and demanded a referendum.
Meanwhile, US President Obama has invited Egypt’s newly elected president Mohamed Mursi to visit the United States in September, an Egyptian official said on Sunday, reflecting the new ties Washington is cultivating with the region’s Islamists.
“President Obama extended an invitation to President Mursi to visit the US when he attends the UNGA in Sept,” Egyptian aide Yasser Ali said after Mursi met US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in Cairo.
Burns, who did not mention the invitation, pledged US support for Egypt’s battered economy and said he welcomed Mursi’s promise to uphold international treaties.
, which include a peace deal with Israel.
“We have taken careful note and appreciated President Mursi’s public statements about a commitment to international obligations and we certainly attach great importance to Egypt’s continuing role as a force for peace,” Burns said.
Israel has watched with growing concern the political gains of the Brotherhood, an inspiration for the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The 84-year-old Brotherhood renounced violence as a means to achieve political change in Egypt decades ago.
Analysts say that one way the United States could influence the direction of policy in Egypt, a nation at the heart of Washington’s regional policy since a peace treaty was signed with Israel in 1979, would be through economic support.