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Egypt presidential elections will not be cancelled: Lower Administrative Court

Lower court allays fears that upcoming elections are cancelled, saying their Wednesday statement merely meant SPEC's call to vote is illegal; State Council says Tantawi can rectify situation by re-announcing elections

Ahram Online, Thursday 10 May 2012
presidential elections
A man walks past a campaign poster of presidential candidate and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq in Qalyubia Governorate (Photo: Reuters)
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Head of the Benha Administrative Court Mohamed, Hatem Ammer stated on Thursday that their Wednesday court ruling "does not mean halting the presidential elections but rather makes the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) call to vote illegitimate, since it's SCAF's authority to make this call".

Earlier on Wednesday, the Nile Delta city court ruled that the SPEC had made key administrative errors such as calling for the elections as they do not have to legal right to do so.

Ammer explained that only the Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF), as the de-factor leader, has the authorisation and power under Article 56 of the military-authored Constitutional Declaration, to call voters to vote in the upcoming presidential elections.

In addition, the Benha Administrative Court also said that according to Article 28, SPEC has the authority to call candidates to nomination but not for the elections.

Judge Magdy El-Garhi, deputy head of State Council, said Wednesday evening that the presidential commission's error can be rectified by the head of the SCAF, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, by reannouncing the elections.

Ammer's statement comes in reaction to public outcry at the Administrative Court ruling, as many feared the upcoming elections would be suspended. This is because by declaring the announcement of the elections illegal, the whole presidential electoral process is consequently rendered illegitimate.

Mokhtar El-Ashry, head of legal committee of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) denounced the Benha court legal action, as it was issued by a 'non-specialised" lower administrative court and was "against the Constitutional Declaration."

He described the action as a "conspiracy", saying it was one of the attempts to stop the presidential elections from taking place on time and was therefore defying the will of the people and the revolution as a whole.

El-Ashry also added that he "rejects" any unspecialized judiciary intervention in the transitional phase of the ruling military council, as they prepare to hand over power over to a civilian president.

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