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Ayman Nour still barred from running for Egypt presidency

Government rejects a bill aiming to pardon aspiring presidential candidate Ayman Nour, who has been prohibited from joining the race as a result of a conviction for electoral fraud

Ahram Online , Monday 27 Feb 2012
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Ayman Nour speaks during conference for Egypt's presidential candidates in Cairo 4 June, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
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The government of current Prime Minister, Kamal El-Ganzouri, has rejected the proposal by a number of parliamentary deputies to pardon former presidential candidate Ayman Nour.

Nour, who founded the liberal Al-Ghad Party, spent four years in jail as a result of a conviction for electoral fraud, following his campaign in the 2005 presidential elections. In 2011 he contested the conviction, arguing that he had been wrongly convicted, but was not successful.

Nour's conviction for forgery means that he is banned from taking part in any official political activities, including standing as a candidate in the upcoming presidential race.

A member of the re-formed Ghad Al-Thawra (The Revolution's Tomorrow) party, Abdel Moneim El-Tunsi, spearheaded the new initiative, proposing a bill to try to end the sanctions against Nour that prevent him from running for the presidential elections, set to start in March 2012.

In response, governmental representative of the Suggestions and Complaints Committee in parliament, Omar El-Sherif, said that the government would not implement such a bill.

El-Sherif added that it would not be possible to accept a bill on behalf of a specific person over others who have been charged in similar cases. Nour could file an individual appeal before the court, El-Sherif clarified.

While he had previously intended to run in the parliamentary elections and the presidential elections, the lawsuit filed against him during the time of the deposed president, Hosni Mubarak, has stalled his political ambitions.

Nour ran against Mubarak in the 2005 presidential elections, which he has claimed is the main reason for the "trumped up" charges against him. Nour was the sole opponent of Mubarak in the last presidential elections held before the 25 January Revolution.

Nour was released from prison in 2009 for health reasons, after serving more than four years. However, the law, which bans him from running for any political office for at least five years after the end of his jail term, stands unchanged until this day. 

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