Protest forces delay of Egypt's key court ruling

Updated: 2012-12-02 18:44


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CAIRO - Protests by Islamists forced Egypt's highest court to postpone a session on Sunday set to examine the legality of the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament and the body that drafted the new constitution, state media reported.

Protest forces delay of Egypt's key court ruling

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi chant pro-Mursi slogans during a rally in the vicinity of Cairo University and Nahdet Misr Square in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo December 1, 2012. Tens of thousands of Islamists demonstrated in Cairo on Saturday in support of President Mohamed Mursi, who is racing through a constitution to try to defuse opposition fury over his newly expanded powers. [Photo/Agencies]

The Supreme Constitutional Court did not say when it would reschedule hearings in cases that threaten to further complicate a political crisis ignited by President Mohamed Mursi's November 22 assumption of sweeping new powers.

Several hundred Muslim Brotherhood supporters chanting slogans demanding the "purging of the judiciary" had crowded outside the court building from the early hours of Sunday.

Egypt's newly empowered Islamists are deeply suspicious of the Supreme Constitutional Court, which ruled in June in favour of dissolving the Brotherhood-led lower house of parliament.  

The constituent assembly, also dominated by Islamists, handed Mursi its final draft of the constitution on Saturday.

The 100-member constitutional assembly, which started work in June, finished the draft on Friday.

Mursi has called for a December 15 referendum on the draft and hopes passing the constitution will help end the crisis.

Assuming the new constitution is approved in the referendum, legislative power will pass from Mursi to the upper house.

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