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Egypt court asks interior ministry for proof of Abu-Ismail's mother's nationality, grants would-be president right to continue

Wednesday's court verdict does not conclusively confirm Abu-Ismail's mother US nationality but it throws the ball in the ministry of interior's court; Ahram Online reads the findings

Ahram Online, Thursday 12 Apr 2012
Abu-Ismail supporters in front of State Council before court verdict on Wednesday (Photo by: Sara Mourad)
Views: 2791
Views: 2791

A ruling from Egypt's administrative court does not conclusively confirm the nationality of presidential candidate Abu-Ismail's mother, but it puts the onus for resolving the controversial issue on the country's interior ministry.

On Wednesday, the court ruled that Egyptian law obliges the country's interior ministry to hold records on all citizens who hold double nationality -- including those who attained a second nationality without applying for permission from Egyptian authorities.
The court's verdict boosted the case of Salafist presidential contender Hazem Abu-Ismail, who has been facing the prospect of ejection from the race due to allegations his mother acquired US citizenship before her death.
Egyptian electoral laws prohibit anyone who holds foreign nationality, or whose parents do, from running for the country's highest office.
The court ordered the Ministry of Interior to present an official document denying the alleged double-nationality of Nawal Nour, Abu-Ismail's mother, who applied for US nationality in 2006.
The ruling does not definitively prove that Abu-Ismail's mother did not hold US citizenship. The presidential front-runner's supporters, however, think the court's verdict is in favour of their candidate.
In its findings the court said that, according to Egyptian law, the Ministry of Interior should hold nationality records of all Egyptian citizens. The records should contain:
  • Names of those with Egyptian nationality, either born or acquired
  • Names of citizens who were granted official permission to hold a foreign nationality while retaining their Egyptian nationality
  • Names of citizens who acquired foreign nationality without the Egyptian authorities' consent. In such cases, the interior ministry is supposed to inform the Egyptian cabinet which will then take legal action against such citizens and decide whether to withdraw their Egyptian nationality.
On 4 April, Abu-Ismail filed a lawsuit with the State Council against the head of the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) Abdel-Moez Ibrahim and Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, demanding the Mininstry of Interior issue a certificate confirming his mother does not hold dual nationality.
The SPEC is not subject to judicial authority pursuant to Article 28 of the constitutional declaration issued by the ruling military junta following a popular referendum in March 2011. 
This means the body is not legally obliged to obey any court ruling and is solely responsible for its decisions, including the elimination of presidential candidates it deems illegible.
Egypt's interior and foreign ministries and the US State Department have all stated that Abu-Ismail's mother acquired a US passport before she died.
Abu-Ismail, however, denies allegations his mother held US citizenship and has demanded official documentation be presented to prove the allegations.
The SPEC is expected to announce a list of applicants, who are legally qualified for the presidency on 26 April.
Abu-Ismail is the son of late high-profile Islamist figure Salah Abu-Ismail, who was a prominent Al-Azhar scholar, a long-standing member of Parliament and a
member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Salafist contender announced his bid for the presidency in May 2011 and has been considered a frontrunner in the 2012 race. His bid, however, has faltered amid speculation over his mother's nationality.
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Dr. L
13-04-2012 06:35am
more facts
Egypt State council "has pressed the interior ministry to issue a certificate to show that (Abu Ismail's) mother has never held another nationality other than her Egyptian nationality," MENA said. The court ordered the interior ministry to issue a certificate establishing that Abu Ismail's mother "has never held another nationality other than her Egyptian nationality", the official news agency Mena reported. MENA 12/04/12 15:49 GMT "Abu Ismail recieves copies of court ruling on his mother's nationality" It's on MENA's website
Comment's Title

12-04-2012 06:17pm
Fact Check
This article is quite biased in its 'reading' of events. The Ministry of Interior has been ORDERED to issue a certificate denying the dual-citizenship state of Abu Ismail's mother. The only way they don't do so if if they launch an appeal and bring NEW evidence which proves otherwise. The evidence that was presented: a picture of a citizenship application form supposedly filled out by Abu Ismail's mother, her name recorded as entering the country with a US travel document was NOT sufficient in proving anything. The travel document could have been a temporary passport which is issued to green card holders and the application does not prove she received citizenship.
Comment's Title

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