'Disenfranchisement Law' ratified; SPEC talks implementation

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Apr 2012

Disenfranchisement law posted in state newspaper; electoral commission to discuss ways of implementing legislation which could see former prime minister Shafiq eliminated

Tahrir Square
Tahrir Square (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

The Supreme Presidential Electoral Commision (SPEC) announced on Tuesday that it would hold an emergency meeting later today to discuss ways of implementing the newly ratified Disenfranchisement Law.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ratified late Monday the Disenfranchisement Law (officially called the Corrupting of Political Life Law), and sent it for a final vote to Parliament.

An official statement was issued in the state newspaper, Al-Gareeda Al-Rasmeya on Tuesday, thus allowing for the immediate implementation of the law.

The law, which was discussed and approved last week by the People's Assembly, places limits on the political rights of certain citizens.

According to the law, a limited number of individuals who served in top positions in the last ten years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule would not be eligible to enter the presidential race set for May of this year. Nor are they able to run for public posts for the next five years.

This would potentially eliminate presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq from the race.

A former commander of the Egyptian Air Force and politician, Ahmed Shafiq was a long-time minister in Mubarak's government and served as his last prime minister in the final stretch of the rule of the ousted president.

The law, however, would not apply to candidate Amr Moussa as he left his post as foreign minister in 2001, more than ten years ago.

Ahmed Shafiq's official presidential campaign team has issued an urgent statement on his official Facebook page saying they will go to court if Shafiq is excluded from the presidential race.

In the meantime, Ahmed Shafiq received his presidential candidacy voting-symbol, the ladder, from the SPEC headquarters Tuesday afternoon .  

An urgent meeting is expected to be held later on Tuesday  by the SPEC to discuss  steps to be taken in regards to enforcing the new law, according to the commission's general-secretary, Hatem Bagato.

These new developments come less than two days of the announced expected by SPEC on Thursday of a final list of eligible presidential candidates.

Meanwhile, MP Essam Sultan, who initially presented the draft law in parliament on 10 April, stated on his Facebook page, "The SCAF has finally approved the law after a lot of resistance; the Egyptian people are the main victors."

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