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Former PM and presidential hopeful Shafiq says disenfranchisement law is unconstitutional

Presidential hopeful former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq condemns the disenfranchisement law, saying Egyptians should have the right to choose their president freely

Ahram Online, Saturday 14 Apr 2012
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At an electoral conference on Friday former prime minister and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq described the disenfranchisement law the parliament currently wishes to pass against former regime figures as "biased" and "unconstitutional."

Shafiq, who was prime minister under Hosni Mubarak for a very brief period, stated it was up to the Supreme Electoral Commission supervising the presidential elections whether to apply the law, but added his opininon that such a law only forces guardianship over Egyptians, not allowing them to choose freely.  

On Friday, tens of thousands of Egyptians, mainly Islamists, demonstrated in Tahrir Square protesting the nomination of former regime figures to the presidential race. The demonstrations demanded the application of the disenfranchisement law, which has now been long called for by parliament and several political groups. Many more activist and political groups, including the influential April 6 Youth Movement, are calling for more demonstrations to take place next Friday to demand the law be enforced, amongst other demands.

The law, if applied, would forbid members of the former regime who worked in a decision-making capacity during the final five years of its reign, from participating in Egypt's political life for ten years. In that case it would apply to Shafiq as well on former vice president and former head of intelligence, Omar Suleiman who is running for president.

The law now approved by parliament is yet to be approved by Egypt's ruling military junta, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has already expressed its disapproval. 

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