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Egypt's president vows to 'respect' court ruling on parliament

Political theater, angry crowds in Egypt

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Story highlights

  • President Morsy: "We are a state of the law that respects the judges and the court system"
  • Morsy promises to meet with the higher judicial council "to reach a solution to the current crisis"
  • The court "affirmed its rule to dissolve parliament and considers it invalid"
  • The parliament, recalled by Morsy, convened for less than an hour Tuesday

Egypt's newly elected President Mohamed Morsy "will respect" the Higher Constitutional Court's ruling that halted Morsy's decision to call the nation's parliament back into session, the president's office said Wednesday.

President Morsy arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday evening where he will meet with the Saudi King. Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz greeted the Egyptian president at the airport, state-run media reports said.

The court decision "affirmed its rule to dissolve parliament and considers it invalid," said Aly Hassan, a judicial consultant affiliated with Egypt's Justice Ministry.

The ruling is the latest move in a power struggle between Morsy and the country's military rulers, who dissolved the legislature last month.

"If yesterday's constitutional court ruling bans parliament from implementing its responsibilities then we will respect that because we are a state of the law that respects the judges and the court system," the president's statement said. "We will continue to meet with various political groups and the higher judicial council to reach a solution to the current crisis."

The parliament, recalled by Morsy, convened for less than an hour Tuesday. The session was the first since the nation's highest court said parliamentary elections were unconstitutional, prompting the military to disband the body.

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"The aim of convening parliament yesterday was to discuss how to execute the court's decision," the president's statement said.

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Morsey, who took office June 30, opted to override the edict of the military, which has run the country since the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

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After the brief session, several hundred demonstrators amassed outside the administrative court in Cairo, which was to address 25 cases filed by individuals protesting Morsy's decision to reinstate parliament. The crowd, which supports Morsy's decision, chanted and hurled water bottles as they stared down more than 100 armor-clad riot police.

The crowd dispersed peacefully, however, after hearing news that the decisions on the cases were postponed for a week. The court is the only body that can overturn a presidential decree.