by Marwa Yahia
CAIRO, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court's ruling that the People's Assembly is null largely damped the hope of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), whose members form the largest bloc in the parliament's dissolved lower house, to reinstate the legislature.
The ruling upheld the verdict of the Supreme Constitutional Court issued on June 14, which ruled unconstitutional some articles of the election law, according to which the lower house was elected.
The dissolution of the People's Assembly was a matter of great controversy as the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the MB, won nearly half of the 498 elected seats. The party together with the Salafist Nour Party, another big winner of the election, opposed the verdict. Many of their lawyers submitted appeals for reinstating the dissolved lower house.
Egypt's Court of Appeals rejected a lawsuit filed by the People 's Assembly Speaker Mohamed Saad al-Katatni on the legality of parliamentarians' membership on July 15, citing that such lawsuit was the court's area of jurisdiction, and referred the case to Cairo's Administrative Court, which ruled it is null since its election.
Mohamed al-Omdah, the MB's lawyer and member of the dissolved house, said "the constitutional court is entitled only to rule the constitutionality of laws, and it doesn't have the right to dissolve the People's Assembly, as so its decision is invalid."
He said only one third of the People's Assembly's seats, assigned for individuals, were in question in terms of constitutionality, and that the other two thirds of the seats, assigned for party lists, should go on working.
However, the constitutional court said as long as part of the house had been formed illegally, the work of entire house was illegal.
Hussein Abdel Raziq, a political expert told Xinhua, the administrative court decision was expected, since the constitutional court decision in the case is final.
"The MB noted the legal possibility that the assembly would be reinstated, but this was legally and constitutionally baseless," added Raziq, affirming "there is no other choice but to hold a new parliamentary elections".
He expects the MB representation in the coming parliament to decrease, given that they lost some of their popularity due to some members' poor performance during the broadcast sessions of the parliament.
"Their chance of another big win in future elections would increase if the polls were held strictly according to the system only allowing individuals to run for the seats reserved for them," added the expert.
Meanwhile, Mosyafa Ghonemy, a member of the MB's guidance bureau, expressed sorrow over the court decision. "The MB movement has spent a huge amount of funds and efforts to run for the elections."
But he asserted the movement still has the financial and human advantages to achieve victory in the next elections, expressing hopes that the future parliament "will be more mature than its predecessor."
Diaa Rashwan, the chief of Cairo-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Researches, said the ruling is final and any talks about reinstating it is burlesque.
Rashwan said the MB should rescue their diminishing popularity, predicting that they may not to able to win as many seats as they had in the last elections and that the change in the results may affect the whole political equation.
President Mohamed Morsi ordered the dissolved parliament to resume work on July 8, but the Supreme Constitutional Court said its verdict is definitive, binding and cannot be challenged.
The MB, however, considered the ruling as "harming the democratic process" and bringing Egypt back to the starting point.
According to the new constitutional declaration issued by prescient Morsi on Aug. 21, "the legislative elections will run within two months from the date of the passage of the new constitution in a referendum."
The constituent assembly has been working since early July to draft a new constitution for the country.