People’s Assembly receives dissolution order from SCAF

State-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported Friday that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has sent the People's Assembly an official order to disband based on the ruling of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

According to Al-Ahram, the secretary general of the People’s Assembly received the order, which added that MPs are not allowed to convene in the parliament headquarters, but workers and journalists can still enter the building.

Reuters reported that police forces backed by the military deployed around the parliament building on Friday, and closed all the side streets leading to the building. A police officer told Reuters on condition of anonymity that he would not allow anyone to enter the building without written permission, including members of Parliament.

The order comes despite a number of MPs and People's Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatny announcing on Thursday that Parliament will hold a session on Tuesday to discuss the court’s ruling and make a decision about it.

Katatny wondered in a statement Thursday evening if the ruling is related to previous threats made by Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri that a dissolution order could be issued at any time because it is “ready in the drawers of the Supreme Constitutional Court.”

He mentioned in the statement that as of Thursday evening, Parliament had not been ordered to disband.

On Thursday, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the Parliamentary Elections Law was unconstitutional because of an article allowing political parties to field candidates for the one-third of parliamentary seats reserved for independents.

Farouk Sultan, the head of the court, said Thursday that as a result of the ruling, Parliament is null and void under the law. He added that an order from the military council was not required for Parliament to be dissolved because it was dissolved by the ruling.

All laws passed by Parliament since it convened will remain in place, he said.

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