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Egypt parliament convenes, defying court and military

Egypt's parliament convened for a brief session, in defiance of military and court orders.

Egypt parliament convenes defying military courts july 10 2012Enlarge
Egyptian Saad al-Kattatni (R) speaker of the parliament, attends with members the first session of the Egyptian parliament in Cairo on July 10, 2012, after Egypt's top court rejected a decree by President Mohamed Morsi to reinstate the parliament it ruled invalid. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt's parliament convened for a brief session on Tuesday, despite being dissolved by the military council last month, the BBC reported.

The New York Times reported that the session lasted for only a few minutes, but the lawmakers were able to approve a proposal to refer the matter of parliament's dissolution to the Court of Cassation, a high appeals court.

The Associated Press noted that the brevity of the session suggested parliament sought more of a symbolic stance than a bold defiance against the rulings.

Security forces did not attempt to block the lawmakers as they arrived at the parliament building, said the AP.

President Mohammed Morsi, sworn in earlier this month, ordered the Islamist-dominated legislature to meet in defiance of the ruling on Sunday.

More on GlobalPost: Egypt: President Morsi annuls dissolution of parliament

Egypt's highest court upheld the military council's decision last month, ruling that parliamentary elections were unconstitutional due to irregularities, according to CNN. On Monday, after Morsi called on parliament to reconvene, the court reiterated that its ruling was final and binding.

Egypt's high court will hear cases on whether the presidential decree is constitutional on Tuesday, said Reuters.

More on GlobalPost: Egypt's top court says ruling on parliament is 'binding'

The Times noted that the back-and-forth represents the power struggle between the generals, backed by the court, and the freely elected president, backed by the will of the people.

It also marks another battle in the clash between Egypt's military and the Muslim Brotherhood, which holds a majority of the seats in parliament and appointed Morsi as its candidate last month.

Speaking from Hanoi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "We strongly urge dialogue and concerted effort on the part of all to try to deal with the problems that are understandable but have to be resolved in order to avoid any kind of difficulties that could derail the transition that is going on," according to Reuters.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/120710/egypt-parliament-convenes-defying-court-and-military