8 March 2014

Egypt: Constitutional Experts and Politicians - Election Law Is Flawed

Cairo — Several constitutional experts, politicians, and rights activists have criticised the presidential election law that was approved by Interim President Adli Mansour on Saturday.

President Mansour has ratified the presidential election law in preparation for the upcoming presidential race, said Ali Awad, presidential advisor for constitutional affairs.

Nour Farahat, a constitutional expert, told ON TV that immunizing the decisions of the Supreme Elections Committee in the election law is clearly unconstitutional.

Farahat urged Mansour to commit to article 79 of the constitution which prohibits immunity to any resolutions from judicial oversight.

Immunizing the elections committee's resolutions is a constitutional flaw since this is incompatible with the articles of the constitution, said Magdi al-Garhi, deputy head of the State Council.

The presidency's justifications of the election committee's immunization are flimsy and could have been avoided, Garhi told CBC channel.

He pointed that the State Council's legislative body has recommended not immunizing the election committee and offered alternatives to appeal its decisions.

The law should have included an article stating that the sons of a presidential candidate cannot hold any nationality other than Egyptian, said Ahmed Refaat, law professor and former President of Bani Soueif University.

Refaat said that there should be a way to appeal the committee's decisions before the administrative court to ensure fair results.

Ayman Nour, head of the Ghad Party, expressed his rejection of the law and said it "clashes with solid constitution principles".

Nour said on Twitter that he will challenge the constitutionality of the presidential election law.

Preventing detainees from running for president contradicts the legal premise that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty, said Hafez Abu Seada, the National Council for Human Rights.

If this rule is applied, the president can prevent his opponents from contesting the presidential elections by detaining and charging them, Abu Seada added.

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