CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s state television says the country’s highest court has asserted its ruling that led to the disbanding of parliament is final and binding, setting up a showdown with the new president.
President Mohammed Morsi had recalled the parliament dissolved by the tribunal last month.
Monday’s brief TV report followed a meeting by the Supreme Constitutional Court to discuss Morsi’s surprise decision. It came just hours after the speaker of the dissolved legislature, Saad el-Katatni, called for the chamber to convene on Tuesday.
In a thinly veiled warning directed at Morsi later Monday, Egypt’s powerful military said it expects all state institutions to respect the constitution.
Morsi’s move Sunday afternoon appeared to be in defiance of the military’s “constitutional declaration” announced on June 16 that gave it legislative powers and stripped Morsi of much of his presidential authority.
The Islamist-dominated parliament was broken up by a court ruling after judges, who had been appointed by deposed leader Hosni Mubarak, decided that too many at-large votes had illegally gone to candidates belonging the Muslim Brotherhood.
The move was seen as a blow for the Brotherhood, with some calling it a “coup” by the then-ruling military council.
Morsi was elected to Egypt’s presidency in mid-June on a Muslim Brotherhood ticket, ending decades of autocratic rule in Egypt.
A conservative Islamist, Morsi’s move may have been inspired in large part by a desire to assert his authority in the face of the military, which has been the country’s de facto ruler since army officers seized power in a 1952 coup that toppled the monarchy.
But Morsi’s defiance of a ruling by the country’s highest court could backfire, leading to charges that he has no respect for the judiciary.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.