Egypt’s newly-elected president Mohammed Mursi has ordered the Islamist-dominated parliament to reconvene until new elections can be held, in defiance of the generals who dissolved it days before the presidential run-off in mid-June.
Mursi's surprise move, which he made after one week in office, has resulted in the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) calling an emergency meeting to "review and discuss the consequences" of his decision. Also meeting on 9 July is the Supreme Constitutional Court whose ruling last month that a third of the cabinet was elected illegally led to its dissolution.
The president's decree to reopen parliament has highlighted the lack of clarity over who governs Egypt's institutions, and is the latest chapter in a power struggle between the president and the military. It comes amid renewed scrutiny on the sweeping legislative powers the generals awarded themselves prior to the election of Mursi on 30 June, including the process of drafting a new constitution, as well as control over the national budget.
The president also called for parliamentary elections to be held within 60 days of the approval of a new constitution, expected later this year.
Mursi's dual move followed a meeting with a high-ranking US official – who assured him of Washington's commitment to a “new partnership” with Egypt – and comes one week ahead of a scheduled Cairo visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.