Cairo — Egypt's upper house of parliament convened in its first session after the passing of the country's Islamist-backed constitution, the first action by a state institution in accordance with a document whose legitimacy is still contested by the opposition.
The Shura Council was swearing in 90 new members appointed by President Mohammed Morsi days earlier. The body, that had until now been a consultative entity, will assume temporary legislative powers previously held by Morsi until parliamentary elections, slated to start in 60 days, are held. The swearing-in ceremony was broadcast live on television.
The Islamist-dominated council is expected to draft a law regulating upcoming parliamentary elections. Other items on the agenda may include laws on protests and the media.
The opposition says the constitutional process was rushed and the referendum marked by widespread irregularities.