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Presidency responds to SCC

President’s office denies trying to undermine the Supreme Constitutional Court's reputation

The presidency denied offending the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) Tuesday, in a statement released by the president’s assistant to foreign media Essam Al-Haddad, Friday.

The SCC had accused the presidency, in a statement released Monday, of lying to the court and attempting to “undermine its reputation internationally… without giving one piece of truthful evidence to support its allegations and claims.”

The presidency said that Friday’s statement was not targeted at international media; it was aimed at highlighting the current political situation, reported state-owned Al-Ahram.

The presidency stated that Al-Haddad referred to the SCC only twice. Firstly, when addressing the SCC’s role in dissolving parliament, a role described in Al-Haddad’s statement as dubious. According to the presidency’s latest statement, this demonstrates its absolute respect for the law and court rulings.

The second incident referred to, was when the SCC intended to dissolve the Shura Council and the Constituent Assembly in early December. Al-Haddad labelled the SCC as an “anti-revolutionary force,” when it appeared there were “signals from a number of quarters that the SCC will dissolve the [Constituent Assembly].” The presidency stressed its use of the word “quarters” and not “judges.”

 “The mention of the SCC in Al-Haddad’s statement was taken out of context and exaggerated in a manner which implied the statement was mainly addressing the SCC,” the presidency’s statement read.

Nevertheless, it failed to refer to a third mention of the SCC, where Al-Haddad said Morsy’s constitutional declaration aimed to “facilitate a consensus by immunising these decisions from intervention by the SCC.” In Monday’s statement, the SCC called on the presidency to “give evidence to prove involvement of judges in a plot to overthrow the institutions of the state.”

The presidency concluded its statement by saying that the state is currently in desperate need of unity. It also stressed that the judiciary should not be involved in political disputes.

This was the latest episode in an ongoing struggle between Morsy and the SCC, which began when Morsy attempted to reinstate parliament, and escalated most recently with Morsy’s constitutional declaration which took away much of the courts’ power.

On Sunday, judges of the SCC were prevented from entering the court due to pro-Morsy supporters blocking them for a second time in a fortnight.

Additional reporting by Joel Gulhane

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