Egypt’s presidency appeals court’s decision to stop parliamentary elections

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Both the Egyptian presidency and the High Electoral Commission have appealed the Administrative Court’s decision to stop the parliamentary elections that was scheduled to take place on April 22, Al Arabiya TV reported.

Last Wednesday, the Administrative Court ordered the cancelation of the elections which President Mohammed Mursi had called for and said it had referred Egypt’s amended electoral law, under which the lower house polls are due to be held, to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review.

The Administrative Court’s ruling deepened Egypt’s political uncertainty at a time of social unrest and economic crisis, with the nation’s foreign currency reserves at critically low levels and the budget deficit soaring.

Egypt has been torn by political confusion and strife since the 2011 uprising that deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Many opposition parties had announced they would boycott the vote, which had been due to be held in four stages from April 22 until late June.

Mursi’s office said that it respected the court’s decision, which was handed down as the government says it wants to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $4.8 billion (3.1 billion pounds) loan to shore up Egypt's finances.

Egyptian courts have made a number of rulings that have gone against Mursi and his ruling Muslim Brotherhood. The previous Islamist-dominated lower house was dissolved by a court ruling that struck down the original electoral law under which the chamber had been elected.

Violence frequently has flared in Egyptian cities, notably late last year over a decree in which Mursi temporarily gave himself sweeping powers. Youths fought police in the Suez Canal city of Port Said for a fourth day on Wednesday.

Opposition politician Amr Hamzawy welcomed the court's decision. “Again, the judiciary has stopped the Muslim Brotherhood from making a mess of the rule of law and legislation,” he told Reuters.

“Referring the law back to the Supreme Constitutional Court is a new lesson to the Muslim Brotherhood.”