The manner in which Mohammed Morsi became the first elected president of Egypt in June made confrontation inevitable between his Muslim Brotherhood and an army that has held power for the past 60 years. The generals had maneuvered to dissolve the Islamist-dominated parliament, appropriate its legislative powers, and award themselves the right to dictate the new constitution.
Yet, the struggle for power has — so far — taken the form of a jostle for position. Morsi defied the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Mubarak-era supreme constitutional court by convening the dissolved parliament. It was then adjourned by the Brotherhood-aligned speaker after a matter of minutes. The president had put down a marker.
Parliament served notice of a legal challenge against its closure, but made clear it respected the rule of law and separation of powers (it was the constitutional court that dissolved the assembly).