The Constitutional Court set Nov 14, 2018 for deliberation on the direct constitutional appeal filed by a citizen from the Third Constituency.
In a press statement, the court explained the appeal is on the unconstitutionality of Article 16 of Law No. 12/1963 which established parliamentary internal regulations as it contains procedures deemed a violation of Article 82 of the Constitution and prevents annulment of a lawmaker’s membership even if he does not fulfill one or more conditions for parliamentary membership.
This came after the National Assembly voted on retaining the seats of MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Jam’an Al-Harbash whose membership should have been cancelled in accordance with Article 82 of the Constitution, considering one of the conditions for parliamentary membership stipulated in the article is “free of any criminal record”.
However, Article 16 of the parliamentary internal regulations states that the continuity of a lawmaker’s position is determined by the Assembly through voting. This put the Assembly in a dilemma during the opening session, but it ultimately decided to enact Article 16.
MPs are divided over the issue and this created tension as some MPs threatened to grill the minister of interior if he orders the arrest of the two convicted MPs; while others like MP Saleh Ashour also warned that if the minister does not arrest the two MPs upon their return to the country, an interpellation will be underway.