Hamdy El-Fakharany, an opposition leader and former member of the now-dissolved Parliament, center, and other activists flash victory signs in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 2, 2013. An Egyptian court ruled on Sunday that the nation’s Islamist-dominated legislature and constitutional panel were illegally elected and that the legislature’s upper house, the only one currently sitting, must be dissolved when parliament’s lower chamber is elected later this year or early in 2014. (AP Photo/ Amr Nabil)
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s highest court ruled on Sunday that the nation’s interim parliament was illegally elected, though it stopped short of dissolving the chamber immediately, in a decision likely to fuel the tensions between the ruling Islamists and the judiciary.
The Supreme Constitutional Court also ruled that a 100-member panel that drafted the new constitution was illegally elected.
The immediate impact of the ruling is limited. The Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, called the Shura Council, will remain in place until elections are held for a lower house, likely early next year. The constitution, which was ratified in a nationwide referendum in December with a relatively low turnout of around 35 percent, will also remain in effect.
Still, the opposition said the verdict shows how Islamists’ victories at the ballot box are tainted. They argued that the ruling further challenges the legitimacy of the disputed constitution, which was pushed through the panel by Islamists allied to President Mohammed Morsi.
The two sides are squaring off for what may be a major confrontation on the streets by the end of this month.
An activist campaign claims to have collected millions of signatures on a petition demanding Morsi Login to read more