CAIRO - In a move seen as a challenge to the powerful military, Egypt's new president ordered Sunday, July 8, the dissolved Islamist-led parliament to reconvene.
"The decision will be met with objections from constitutional legal experts, Aly Hassan, a judicial consultant affiliated with the Justice Ministry, told CNN.
And it may be the first test on the relations between (President Mohamed) Morsi and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces since Morsi took office.New Egypt: Rebirth of a Nation
Morsi on Sunday ordered the Islamist-dominated parliament to reconvene until a new one was elected.
"President Morsi has issued a presidential decree annulling the decision taken on June 15, 2012 to dissolve the people's assembly, and invites the chamber to convene again and to exercise its prerogatives," the state news agency MENA said.
It said the decree stipulates "the organization 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."
The lower house of parliament was dissolved by Egypt's top court last month, a day before the second round of the vote that saw Morsi become Egypt's first democratically-elected president.
The Supreme Constitutional Court had said certain articles in the law governing parliamentary elections were invalid, annulling the Islamist-led 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.
In the absence of a parliament, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces itself assumed legislative power.
The Muslim Brotherhood accused the SCAF of seeking to monopolize power and demanded a referendum.
Analysts opine that the new move signals the beginning of confrontation between the new president and the military.
"Everyone was expecting this to happen but not now, unless this decision was taken in agreement with the army council, but I doubt this," political analyst Mohamed Khalil told Reuters.
"This means he is taking legislative power from the army council and returning it to parliament.
So maybe in this period he needs certain laws to empower the government or to implement the 100-day plan" for his first days in office, Khalil said.
The military council ordered an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss Morsi's decree to reconvene the parliament.
A member of the council, who declined to be identified, told Reuters the generals had not been given prior warning of Morsi's decision.
"The military wanted to dissolve parliament and the Brotherhood doesn't, Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center, told Reuters.
There has to be somewhere they can meet in the middle or there will be an indefinite stand-off and both sides will have to compromise."This could be a compromise arrangement for the short term, so the military gets part of what it wanted - a new parliament in coming months - and Islamists can avoid a situation where the military dominates a legislative authority.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net