Moderate Islamist political party Al-Wasat will not withdraw its proposed judiciary bill in the Shura Council despite President Mohamed Morsi’s agreement with judicial leaders to have them draft their own law for him to endorse.
In a Sunday statement the party said it welcomed all legislation from judges regarding the judiciary law but that such legislation would be treated like any other proposed bill and would join a set of other proposed judiciary bills, including the party’s own, which it has no intention of withdrawing.
The party added that the Shura Council is the current representative of the legislative branch and must be allowed to perform its constitutional duties without interference from other branches, either executive or judicial.
Morsi agreed with judicial leaders on Sunday that they would draft their own new judicial law that he will endorse and present to the Shura Council.
The president met with the heads of all the judicial authorities in the Presidential Palace and agreed to sponsor a “Justice Conference”, inviting the judges to plan it at the palace on Tuesday, presidential spokesperson, Ehab Fahmy said.
Morsi told judges he respects them and their independence, agreeing that they could draft the new judiciary law.
The Supreme Judicial Council will hold the Justice Conference in which all judges will be invited to contribute to one or more judiciary bills that the council will then present to Morsi, who will pass it on to the Shura Council to discuss.
Al-Wasat had submitted a draft bill proposing to lower the retirement age of judges from 70 to 60 in an effort to eliminate what it said was corruption in the judiciary.
The proposal followed a protest by the High Court building that the Muslim Brotherhood organised with the demand of “cleansing” the judiciary.
“Egypt’s judges must cleanse themselves on their own, for there is a small minority of corrupt judges within the judiciary. We await the new judiciary bill that judges will draft themselves and hope the judges know the Egyptian people depend on them to draft a bill that achieves justice and the goals of the 25 January revolution,” Brotherhood spokesperson Mourad Ali said on Monday.