Egypt court delays ruling on constitution body


An Egyptian administrative court delayed hearing challenges to an assembly drafting a new constitution until the end of July, prolonging uncertainty over a body with a central role in the country’s transition to democracy.

The court also said it had no jurisdiction to rule on challenges to a decree by new President Mohamed Mursi to reinstate the parliament that was dissolved by the military on the basis of a Supreme Constitutional Court ruling.
“The court doesn’t have jurisdiction to look into the case and has transferred it to the constitutional court,” said Judge Abdel Salam el-Naggar, Reuters reports.

A power struggle unleashed by the overthrow of Mubarak in a popular uprising last year has shifted from the streets to the ballot box and now the courts.

Islamists are exerting pressure on the judiciary for fear the army-led establishment will use it to sideline them from power.

The military, in charge since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak last year, took back legislative powers from the Islamist-dominated parliament when it was dissolved last month and gave itself control over the constitution drafting process through a supplementary constitutional decree.

The court on Thursday also turned down challenges to that decree, saying it lacked the authority to rule on them.