Egypt's new President Mohamed Mursi ordered a parliament dominated by his Islamist party to reconvene, just a month after it was dissolved.
Mursi said the chamber should reconvene until a new election is held. The military had enforced a court order last month dissolving parliament because party members had contested seats reserved for independents.Speaking on state TV, an aide to the President said parliament would be reconvened with full powers until an early new election is held.
"After looking into the decision of the head of the supreme military council, number 350 of 2012, the President decided: First, to withdraw the decision number 350 of 2012 to dissolve the parliament as of 15 June 2012; Second, the return of the elected parliament to convene and exercise its powers as stated in the constitutional announcement issued on 30 March 2011; Third, holding early parliamentary elections within 60 days from the date when the people accept the referendum over the new constitution."
Mursi's announcement appeared to catch off-guard the generals who handed power to him on June 30. State media said the army's supreme council held an emergency meeting and a council member, declining to be named, told Reuters the generals had not been given prior warning. It also threatens a fresh legal wrangle over whether Mursi can overrule a decision by the Supreme Constitutional Court to dissolve parliament, creating more uncertainty at a time when the economy is creaking after 17 months of political turmoil.
Written and Presented by Ann Salter