Egypt's upper house approves revised election law

Egypt's Shura Council (upper house of parliament) approved a revised election law and a controversial political rights law on Thursday, official news agency MENA reported. The Shura Council ordered to refer both laws to the Supreme Constitutional Court to check their legality. A different version of election law has recently been referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review.

On Feb. 18, the Supreme Constitutional Court rejected a disputed election law and sent it back to the Shura Council for amendment, due to the unconstitutionality of some articles concerning the quota of workers and fair representation of electoral districts.

Three days later, the Shura council endorsed the amendment, and the amendment was approved by President Mohamed Morsi without referring to the Supreme Constitutional Court. On March 6, an administrative court decided to suspend a presidential decree to hold parliamentary elections on April 22 and referred the election bill to the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine its constitutionality.

Although the presidency expressed on the same day its respect for the court order and denied any intention to appeal it, State Lawsuit Authority, which represents the presidency and other bodies, appealed the ruling on March 13.

Islamist lawmakers then drafted a fresh election law, taking the Supreme Constitutional Court's remarks into consideration, so as to avoid waiting several months for the approval of the previous one already referred back to the Court.

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