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Protesters gather at Egypt court for Shafiq candidacy verdict

Crowds outside Constitutional Court wait for Thursday's verdict on future of Parliament and Disenfranchisement Law banning former regime figures like Ahmed Shafiq from running in presidential race

Ekram Ibrahim , Thursday 14 Jun 2012
Protest at High Constitutional Court
Photo: Mai Shaheen
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Hundreds of people have gathered in front of the High Constitutional Court, Thursday, for the much-awaited verdict on the Political Disenfranchisement Law and the parliamentary electoral process; the outcome could see a rerun of both the presidential and parliamentary elections.

The court is expected to give a ruling on whether the independent seats in parliament were legally elected and on the constitutionality of the Disenfranchisement Law, which if enforced would see Mubarak-era ministers, like presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, banned from running for political office.

Should Shafiq, who is expected to face Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi in the 16 – 17 June run-offs, be taken out of the race, the presidential elections may be repeated. Equally, if Thursday's verdict finds that the independent seats, which occupy a third of the People's Assembly, were unconstitutionally appointed, Parliament would be dissolved.

"These court ruling will shape the future of Egypt," Ayman Ashour, 32, told Ahram Online outside the court, "I want the Disenfranchisement Law to be applied as we don't want the old regime, i.e. Shafiq, back - we didn't make a revolution for this." 

Heba, 30, agreed, adding that the revolutionaries did not want a Muslim Brotherhood president either and that parliamentary elections should be repeated, as they are unconstitutional.

"If a third of the Parliament [the independent seats] is dissolved that would bring more space to other liberal parities to take part," Sara Ahmed, 25, another protester said, "I don't know what to expect, I don't trust the judicial system as I use to." 

The increased security presence was larger than that seen outside of the 2 June Mubarak trial at the police academy courthouse. The road to Maadi, where the court is located, is sealed off by both Central Security Forces and the military. The side street of the court is also blocked.

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