Advertising Console

    Inside Story - Egypt's ongoing power struggle

    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

    Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's newly elected president, reopened a parliament that the military rulers had dissolved. But the country's top judges insist their ruling that led to the military action remains valid. And now there is a political, legal and social storm in the wake of the president's action. The country is divided over the legality of and the reasons for Morsi's decision. His supporters insist the president is returning legislative power to the people while opponents maintain he is undermining the rule of law. Last month Egypt's constitutional court ruled that part of the electoral process was unconstitutional, finding that one-third of seats supposed to be filled by independents had in fact been occupied by party representatives, and recommended that the whole of parliament be dissolved. As executive authority at that stage, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), then decreed the closure of parliament and barred MPs from even entering the premises. By reversing that decree the newly elected president is essentially beginning to define the degree of executive authority he believes has been ceded by SCAF. And he is also denying SCAF's insistence that it will continue to hold full legislative power until a new constitution is drawn up and a parliament is re-elected. In immediately holding a formal session, the parliament is signalling its backing for the president. But by adjourning within minutes and referring the matter of its legal status to the courts, the parliament has also signalled its willingness to uphold the rule of law. So, is it a constitutional crisis, a political showdown or both? Inside Story, with presenter Mike Hanna, discusses with guests: Hisham Kassem, a veteran journalist and publisher; Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science at Cairo Univeristy and an author of several books on Egyptian foreign policy; and Sameh Fawzy, a political analyst.