Egypt's parliament convenes despite military warning
Egypt's Islamist-led parliament convened on Tuesday, defying a ruling by the constitutional court and warnings by the military, dpa reported.
Lawmakers convened after President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday issued a decree reinstating parliament, which was dissolved by the military last month based on a court ruling. The court cited flaws in the electoral law.
The military said on Monday the ruling by the constitutional court must be upheld, setting the stage for the first confrontation with Morsi since he took office last week.
Parliament speaker Saad al-Katatni said lawmakers did not object to the Constitutional Court ruling but wanted to seek a legal opinion from an appeal court.
The assembly voted on a show of hands to refer the question to the Court of Cassation, following which al-Katatni closed the session.
Many liberal and left-wing lawmakers, including members of the Wafd, Free Egyptians and Social Democratic parties, boycotted the meeting.
Islamist Morsi has called for early parliamentary elections 60 days after a referendum to approve a constitution, which is being drafted.
Morsi's decision set the stage for a showdown between the military, which had ruled Egypt after Hosny Mubarak's overthrow, and the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that was banned under the old regime and which emerged as the largest political force after last year's revolution.
"We are confident that all state institutions will respect all constitutional declarations," the military said in a statement.
The military council granted itself legislative powers in a constitutional declaration after it dissolved parliament, raising fears that it was trying to hold on to power.
Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, hold more than two-thirds of seats in parliament.
Legal experts have been split over whether Morsi has the authority to reinstate the legislature.