An Egyptian court will hear an appeal on Sunday against a ruling that led to the cancellation of parliamentary elections called by President Mohamed Mursi, the latest hurdle in Egypt’s tortuous political transition. A body representing the state said it had lodged an appeal with the Administrative Court against its ruling last week which canceled Mursi’s decision to hold the four-stage parliamentary vote from April 22 onwards. Mursi and his Islamist backers in the Muslim Brotherhood are keen that the lower house election should go ahead quickly, seeing it as the final stage of the transition that followed Hosni Mubarak’s removal from power more than two years ago.
But the Islamists’ secular-minded opponents, who had planned to boycott the election, have welcomed the prospect of a delay, saying it might allow for consensus around a new election law. They had accused the Islamists of drafting a law to suit themselves.
The March 6 ruling canceled Mursi’s decree on technical grounds, saying the upper house of parliament should have returned the amended election law to the Supreme Constitutional Court for approval.
“We could be looking at a drawn-out process if the ruling stands,” said Yasser El-Shimy, Egypt analyst for the International Crisis Group. “We could be potentially looking at Egypt not having a parliament for six to eight months.”