Egypt's legislature convenes despite court ruling

By Hamza Hendawi

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, July 10 2012 6:57 a.m. MDT

In its only public comment on the dispute, the military Monday delivered a thinly veiled warning to Morsi, saying the armed forces sides with the "constitution, legitimacy and law" — language that means the powerful military will stand by and watch a ruling by the country's highest court ignored or breached.

The military handed over power to Morsi on June 30 after ruling Egypt since Mubarak's downfall.

In the run-up to the handover, the military declared itself the country's legislative authority in the absence of a parliament and gave itself control over the drafting of a new constitution and the national budget. The generals also stripped Morsi of significant powers.

For the second consecutive day, Morsi attended a military graduation ceremony, apparently in a bid to ease the perception of a growing showdown with the country's powerful generals. Also present in Tuesday's ceremony in a Nile Delta air base was Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the country's top soldier, and his Chief-of-Staff Sami Anan.

Morsi is Egypt's first democratically elected president. Unlike his four predecessors, he does not have a military background and is not the supreme commander of the armed forces. Under a "constitutional declaration" issued by the military on June 17, Morsi cannot declare war or order troops on the streets in the case of a domestic crisis without prior agreement from the military.

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