The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) upheld a lower administrative court’s decision to suspend parliamentary elections for the House of Representatives on Sunday.
Government lawyers had appealed the Administrative Judiciary Court’s March verdict suspending elections for the lower house of parliament after the Shura Council failed to run the final draft of the election laws by the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC).
The Administrative Court suspected some election laws were unconstitutional and referred it to the SCC for review.
The SAC’s upholding of the verdict despite the State Litigation Authority’s appeal puts the matter to rest; the elections are suspended.
The Shura Council already drafted two new election bills and submitted them to the SCC to move past the election suspension and the court case.
The old laws, drafted by the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, were initially sent to the SCC before being passed and signed into law by President Mohamed Morsi, as per the provisions of the constitution.
Article 177 of the constitution states that the SCC has power to deem laws unconstitutional and reverse them except for electoral laws, for which it only gets prior review.
Parliament is supposed to send draft bills to the court before voting to determine constitutionality. If the court deems a bill unconstitutional it returns it to the legislator to make the required amendments.
The Shura Council did send the law to the SCC, which in turn determined it unconstitutional and sent it back with comments.
Shura Council members amended the drafted election bills but failed to return it to the court to ensure the amendments fall in line with its ruling, instead referring it to President Morsi, who immediately signed it into law and called for elections, allowing the Administrative Court to halt the process.