A judicial body on Wednesday appealed the Cairo Administrative Court's recent decision to suspend upcoming parliamentary elections, raising questions over the future of the contentious elections and the exercise of presidential powers.
The State Lawsuit Authority lodged its appeal before the Supreme Administrative Court on behalf of the president’s office, Shura Council and justice minister a week after a presidential spokesperson said leaders respected the original ruling.
The court suspended House of Representative polls shortly after President Mohamed Morsy officially scheduled the elections to start in April, saying the Supreme Constitutional Court must review elections law amendments made by the Shura Council.
The SCC had requested the amendments after finding five articles in the draft legislation unconstitutional.
The decision to bypass a final approval by the SCC had drawn heated criticism from many worried the new parliamentary polls would be subject to legal challenges should the Shura Council’s amendments fail to rectify the unconstitutional articles.
Now the government is arguing that scheduling elections falls under the auspices of the president’s office and, as such, cannot be subject to judicial suspension or appeal.
Raafat Fouda, a professor of constitutional law at Cairo University, tells Egypt Independent that Morsy’s claim does not have solid legal foundations.
Sovereign decisions are issued by the executive authority in its capacity as a ruling power. Usually, this entails scheduling elections, decisions related to defense, national security and the state’s foreign policy,” Fouda explains.