About 60 members of parliament in the disbanded People’s Assembly met on Monday at the parliament building. They called on President Mohamed Morsy to reinstate the dissolved lower house of parliament.
The meeting was called for by independent former MP Mohamed El-Omda, and was mostly attended by former MPs from the liberal New Wafd Party and the Salafi Al-Nour Party.
The former MPs received approval and access to the building from Ahmed Fahmy, speaker of the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, which is still in session. Following the dissolution of the People’s Assembly, Fahmy is now in charge of all parliament buildings.
“What was born out of the people’s choice cannot be dissolved except by the people’s choice also,” said El-Omda in reference to the People’s Assembly and its dissolution.
“The decision must come through a popular referendum and not through a Supreme Constitutional Court ruling,” he added.
The lower house of parliament was dissolved on 14 June after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the parliamentary elections law was unconstitutional and ordered the People’s Assembly dissolved.
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose political wing the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) controlled a majority of seats in the People’s Assembly, contested the decision on grounds that the Supreme Constitutional Court does not have the power to take such decisions and could only rule on the constitutionality of articles.
The Brotherhood’s lawyer demanded that the Supreme Administrative Court, which was viewing the case that resulted in the parliamentary elections law being referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court, be the one to make the final verdict.
The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on 22 September that the People’s Assembly should remain dissolved. FJP MPs did not attend El-Omda’s meeting on Monday.
The former MP’s released a statement warning of “obstructing the institutions of state from doing their jobs” and attempts to “destroy the Constituent Assembly” tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.
They also called on former Speaker of the People’s Assembly Saad El-Katatny to call the assembly back into session.
Some former parliamentarians raised concerns over the lost funds they spent on electoral campaigns and argued that they should demand compensation from the state, while others said they were willing to sacrifice such compensation on the condition that President Morsy calls for a national referendum regarding the dissolution of the People’s Assembly.