Monday 24 June 2024

Egyptian parliament reconvenes, defies army

Cairo, July 10, 2012

Egypt's Islamist-led parliament reconvened on Tuesday in an open challenge to the generals who dissolved the assembly last month, stirring up tensions with the military just 10 days into Mohamed Mursi's presidency.

Parliament speaker Saad al-Katatni, who like Mursi hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, which has the biggest bloc in parliament, opened the session with a speech aired live on state television.

The army on Tuesday defended its dissolution of the assembly, saying it was confident "all state institutions" would respect the constitution and the law.

Meanwhile US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged all sides in Egypt to work together to safeguard the political transition.

"We strongly urge dialogue and concerted effort on the part of all to try to deal with the problems that are understandable but have to be resolved in order to avoid any kind of difficulties that could derail the transition that is going on," Clinton told a news conference on Tuesday.

Clinton said Egypt had a lot of work to do to keep the transition on course. Democracy, she said, was not just about elections.

"It is about creating a vibrant, inclusive political dialogue, listening to civil (society), having good relations between civilian officials and military officials, where each is working to serve the interests of the citizens," she said.

She called for "intense dialogue" among all participants "to ensure that there is a clear path for them to be following and that the Egyptian people get what they protested for and what they voted for, which is a fully elected government".

Clinton is in Vietnam as part of an Asian tour that will take her to Cambodia for a meeting of foreign ministers later in the week.-Reuters

Tags: clinton | army | Muslim Brotherhood | defy | Egypt parliament | reconven |

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