Egypt parliament set to meet, defying army
By Dina Zayed and Yasmine Saleh
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's parliamentary speaker said the chamber would reconvene on Tuesday after the new, Islamist president defied the generals by quashing their decision to dissolve the assembly last month.
Responding a day after Mohamed Mursi's decree, the army on Monday defended its action to dissolve parliament and, in an apparent swipe at the president, said it was confident "all state institutions" would respect the constitution and the law.
The row, barely a week since Mursi took office, threatens new uncertainty for a nation whose economy is on the ropes and where many are anxious for an end to the political turmoil after 17 turbulent months since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
Parliament speaker Saad al-Katatni, in remarks carried by the state news agency, said the lower house would sit from noon (1000 GMT) on Tuesday, in defiance of the army's order to dismiss parliament a month ago, a move based on a court ruling.
Katatni, like Mursi, hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, the long-time adversary of Mubarak and the other military men who ruled Egypt for six decades until June 30, when power was formally handed over to Mursi by the army council.
"Early confrontation," wrote Al-Akhbar newspaper, summing up Mursi's decision which could end a brief honeymoon with the military council, led by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.
Yet earlier in the day, Mursi and Tantawi showed no hint of discord when the president attended a military parade. Seated side-by-side, Mursi and Tantawi turned to each other in a brief jovial exchange, television images showed.
The military council which had run Egypt since Mubarak was toppled in February 2011 sought to trim the president's authority before the handover on June 30. It had dissolved parliament and taken legislative power for itself. Continued...