Egypt's president orders parliament's upper house, newly empowered, to meet Wednesday

An official statement says President Mohammed Morsi has ordered parliament's upper chamber to convene on Wednesday.

The statement Monday comes a day after Morsi appointed 90 members to the Islamist-dominated Shura Council. The 90 include at least 30 Islamists and six minority Christians. The council has a total of 270 members, two-thirds of them elected.

The toothless body was elected last winter by less than 10 percent of the 51 million eligible voters. It will assume legislative powers until a lower chamber is elected within the next two months. Morsi has had legislative powers since the lower chamber was dissolved by a court in June.

The council's empowerment is provided for in a new constitution passed in a referendum over the past two weekends, according to unofficial results.