CAIRO — In a raw contest between Egypt’s competing centers of power, legislators on Tuesday defied the country’s highest court and its most senior generals by holding a brief session of the dissolved Parliament, heeding an order by President Mohamed Morsi in the face of opposition from judges and the military.
The session lasted only a few minutes, long enough for lawmakers to approve a proposal by the speaker, Saad el-Katatni of the Muslim Brotherhood, to appeal to the Court of Cassation against an earlier ruling that Mr. Morsi’s effort to revive the Parliament was an affront to the rule of law.
The authorities had made no move to prevent the gathering of Parliament. The assembly is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, which also nominated Mr. Morsi as its candidate in the presidential elections that brought him to power.
The power struggle reflected dueling claims to Egypt’s emerging politics, with each side trying to frame the debate as a contest for ideals, legitimacy and democracy. The generals, backed by the court, argue that the new president must respect legal precedents and the institutions of the state. The new president, in turn, is calling on the generals to respect a popular will that was expressed through free elections.