Ashri: Parliament Constitutionality Doubters, Smear Campaigns Violate Law
Legal experts are confident Egypt’s first freely elected Parliament is perfectly constitutional, accusing the media of a fierce and relentless, albeit typically ineffective, campaign of vilification, malicious slander, lies and disinformation, in violation of a whole bunch of laws.
Mukhtar Ashri, Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)’s Legal Committee, said that the continued smear and slander campaigns by certain print and broadcast media against Egypt’s lower house of parliament (the People’s Assembly), by spreading rumors, false statements and remarks, are in total and direct violation of the law, the Constitutional Declaration and established legal principles.
“Circulating these rumors and lies as if they were legal arguments is a matter which perpetrators must halt immediately and apologize for. It is evidently inimical to the interests of the nation and the will of the people.
“We follow with great concern and disapproval these relentless campaigns of defamation and disinformation that show no regard for the law, conscience or the high interests of this homeland.”
Ashri added, “Media outlets responsible for these moral atrocities risk squandering all the gains of the great revolution quite unnecessarily.
“Needless to say, real media professionals should rather commit to accuracy and honesty in reporting all subjects – especially those relating to the political process, including houses of parliament and the constitution-writing committee, or other topics related to the process of democratic transformation in this precarious, critical transitional period.”
Moreover, Ashri reiterated that his confidence is high that the law of parliament according to which elections were held is fully compatible with the Constitutional Declaration by which the country is governed in its current transitional phase – from March 30, 2011 till the handover of power.
He pointed out that judges from the Supreme Constitutional Court did review the law, after a lengthy and highly publicized meeting between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the political parties and stakeholders. He affirmed that those judges did express full approval of the manner in which parliamentary elections were conducted.
Ashri further explained that the announcement by the Supreme Constitutional Court’s assembly of commissioners that they are preparing the lawsuit for the May 6, 2012 session means the start of a legal process that should include in-depth research and analysis of the subject. There will be no verdicts or sentencing etc, as some stubbornly keep saying every day with astonishing determination, and in violation of elementary legal principles.
“Even if the Supreme Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the law of parliament, this does not mean the dissolution of parliament. Rather, the case would be referred back to the Supreme Administrative Court to announce either the invalidity of the election of the ‘individuals’ seat vote or the invalidity of the parliamentary elections.
“So, the Administrative Court may dismiss party members who won individual seats. This does not at all mean the dissolution of Parliament, because the proportion of these is less than one-third.
“Without those MPs, the People’s Assembly will still have more than 350 members. On the other hand, the Administrative Court may dismiss the case altogether. This is the right decision, according to many top legal experts and advisers, e.g. Justice Adel Farghali, former President of Administrative Justice Courts, according to his opinion published in a number of newspapers.”