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Sabbahi’s campaign claims new elections law is 'unconstitutional'

The Nasserist candidate's campaign objects to the new presidential elections law, which says that candidates cannot appeal election results

Ahram Online, Saturday 8 Mar 2014
Sabbahi
Nasserist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi (Photo: AP)
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Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi’s official campaign expressed its discontent with a new law issued on Saturday which regulates the upcoming presidential elections.

“The law, which came out unjustifiably late, has rendered immune the decisions of the Presidential Elections Commission from appeals before the courts, which is a worrying matter and stirs doubts regarding the transparency and seriousness of the electoral process,” read a campaign statement issued on Saturday afternoon.

The campaign stressed that it strongly opposes Article 7 of the law, which bans appeals against the decisions of the commission. It also called on interim President Adly Mansour to practice his legislative authorities to annul the article “in keeping with the constitution.”

Critics have accused the new law of contravening Article 97 of the Egyptian constitution, which makes administrative orders liable to judicial appeal.

However, Mansour’s legal and constitutional affair advisors have said that the High Constitutional Court’s judges agreed, in a letter to Mansour, that rejecting appeals in presidential polls is in line with the constitution.

Sabbahi’s campaign further said that while it will carry on with its preparations for the elections, it will nevertheless re-assess its stance depending on the state’s commitment to the transparency of the electoral process and the neutrality of state-owned institutes and apparatuses.

“The condition for running in any elections is the presence of guarantees for its seriousness, transparency and consistency with global standards,” read the statement.

Sabbahi, a Nasserist politician who came third in the 2012 presidential elections, is the only candidate to have so far announced his intention to run in elections expected this spring.

Egypt’s military chief, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, is also widely expected to announce that he will join the presidential race.

The Presidential Elections Commission is expected to meet on Sunday or Monday to start preparations for the upcoming polls. The first step will be to set the date of the election.

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