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Nour Party to demand amendments to electoral law: Spokesman

Nour Party will ask presidency to issue a number of guarantees in relation to the upcoming elections

Ahram Online , Tuesday 26 Feb 2013
Spokesman
Al Nour Party spokesman Ashraf Thabet
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Ashraf Thabet, a spokesman for the Salafist Nour Party, told Ahram Online on Tuesday, hours before the national dialogue meeting held by the presidency, that the party is seeking to submit several demands in relation to the procedures of the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled to begin in April.

Participating in the dialogue called for by President Mohamed Morsi, the Nour Party will request the electoral law recently passed by the Shura Council meets all the constitutional requirements asked for by the High Constitutional Court (HCC).

"It is wrong to hold elections for a parliament that might be dissolved again for unconstitutionality…that is a waste of public funds," said Thabet.

The HCC had sent a report to the Shura Council stating that it had found ten articles in the electoral law to be unconstitutional. The Shura Council in turn made certain adjustments, but did not include all of the HCC's changes, including overlooking the HCC's conclusion that the division of the electoral constituencies is unconstitutional.

The 2011 parliament, in which the Nour Party gained the second highest number of seats after the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, was dissolved in June 2012 after a court verdict held that the electoral law which formed it was unconstitutional.

Although the new constitution dictated that the HCC's constitutional supervision over elections could only come after elections, the Shura Council's failure to incorporate all the HCC's requested amendments has left many doubting the legal status of the coming parliament.

Another request to be submitted by the Nour Party is that the elections are subject to full judicial supervision. 

Thabet said the party also had reservations about having the employees assisting the judges during electoral supervision appointed by Cabinet ministers, who he says "follow a particular current," referring to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Thabet said the presidency should also guarantee that the electoral process will be safe and secure.

"There should be guarantees that lives of opposing citizens are protected…such a guarantee is needed after the bloodshed recently witnessed." 

The Nour Party recently cooperated with the National Salvation Front (NSF), the biggest opposition bloc, to launch an initiative aiming to create consensus among rival political groups. The initiative proposed the formation of a national unity government and the dismissal of the prosecutor-general.

Since then, the Nour Party's conflict with the presidency has been escalating, reaching its peak with the dismissal of senior Nour Party figure Khaled Alam El-Din from his role as advisor to President Morsi.

The national dialogue meeting with the presidency is due to take place on Tuesday. 

On Tuesday, the National Salvation Front announced its decision to boycott both the dialogue and the upcoming elections. 

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