Court delays ruling on election law

The Supreme Administrative postponed until next Sunday its consideration of a challenge by the State Lawsuits Authority — representing the presidency, the Shura Council and the High Elections Commission — to an Administrative Court ruling that put parliamentary elections on hold.

The Administrative Court’s State Commissioners had earlier issued a consultative report on Sunday recommending that the Supreme Administrative Court turn down the challenge. 

President Mohamed Morsy had called elections to be held in four stages, starting 22 April, but the Administrative Court ordered the elections be put on hold and recommended returning the electoral law to the Supreme Constitutional Court so it could review amendments by the Shura Council.

Former MP Mohamed al-Omda, who filed one of the cases against the ruling, said presidential decisions are unchallengeable.

The Shura Council made the amendments after the SCC said some the law’s articles were illegal.

Controversy then erupted as the opposition argued that the amended draft law had to be referred to the SCC, while Shura Council members said the court doesn’t have the right to review it again.

Omda had earlier said that the court ruling flew in the face of previous case precedents, referring to the SCC’s review of the presidential election law in 2005.

At that time, the court recommended amendments to the law but did not stipulate that it would review the law again

A similar case occurred in 2012, when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces submitted an amended presidential election law to the SCC.

Again, the court recommended amendments, which were made, but the law was then passed without a second review from the court.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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