Cairo: Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi will respect a court ruling overturning his decree for the dissolved Islamist-dominated parliament to convene, his office said on Wednesday amid a power struggle with the military.
    
The statement appears aimed at mollifying an infuriated judiciary, which has been placed at the forefront of the complex struggle between powerful generals adjusting to their new Islamist president.
    
"If yesterday's constitutional court ruling prevents parliament from fulfilling its responsibilities, we will respect that because we are a state of the law," the statement said, a day after the court froze Morsi's decree.
    
"There will be consultations with (political) forces and institutions and the supreme council for legal authorities to pave a suitable way out of this," the statement added.
    
Last week, Morsi ordered parliament to convene in defiance of a military decision to disband the house in line with a court ruling last month, before the generals handed power to the president.
    
Morsi's decree was applauded by supporters who believed the court's decision to disband parliament was political, but it set off a fire storm of criticism from opponents who accused him of overstepping his authority.
    
According to the country's interim constitution, drafted by the military generals who took charge after president Hosni Mubarak's overthrow early last year, the military assumed the dissolved parliament's powers.
    
Morsi's decision was seen as an opening shot in a power struggle between Egypt's first civilian leader and the Mubarak-appointed generals who wanted to retain broad powers even after they transferred control on June 30.
    
"The battle for power centred on the judiciary," read the headline of independent daily Al-Watan on Wednesday.
    
On Sunday, Morsi had ordered parliament back and invited it to convene. Taking its cue from the president, the People's Assembly met on Tuesday.
    
"We are gathered today to review the court rulings, the ruling of the Supreme Constitutional Court," speaker Saad al-Katatni said.
    
"I want to stress, we are not contradicting the ruling, but looking at a mechanism for the implementation of the ruling of the respected court. There is no other agenda today," he added.
    
According to Morsi's decree, new parliamentary elections are to be held after a constituent assembly picked by the legislature finishes a constitution.

(Agencies)


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