'Sahwet Misr' withdraws from Egypt's parliamentary elections

Ahram Online , Friday 11 Sep 2015

The first phase of Egypt’s parliamentary elections is set to start on 17 October

Egypt's centre-left electoral list Sahwet Misr decided to withdraw late Friday from the upcoming parliamentary elections, according to a statement by the list.

The decision came due to what Sahwet Misr (Egypt's Awakening) described as a “negative stance” from the High Electoral Committee (HEC) regarding a recent administrative court ruling.

On Monday, the court ruled that the decision by the HEC to accept candidates' medical check-ups conducted in February was a violation of the House of Representatives law.

Following the ruling, the HEC announced it was extending the scheduled registration period, originally to end on 12 September, by three days in order to allow candidates to retake their medical tests.

The medical tests, which are required for candidates to run in the elections, cost LE2,850.

Sahwet Misr described the ruling as “costly”.

“Obliging candidates to retake medical tests on their own expenses kills the two constitutional principles of equality and equal opportunities," Sahwet Misr said in its statement. "The HEC should have extended the registration period by 12 more days. They should also have addressed the government so it could allow candidates to retake medical tests for free.”

Sahwet Misr is an electoral list created by Abdel-Galil Mostafa, a founder of an Egyptian movement that helped mobilise protests in the build up to the 2011 January revolution that ousted autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak.

The list includes the Democratic Current Alliance, the Constitution Party, El-Karama, the Socialist Popular Alliance, Misr El-Horreya, El-Adl, and Egypt’s Popular Current.

The list also includes the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the National Bloc, the 25/30 Alliance, as well as public figures including Kefaya founding member George Isaac, former minister of social solidarity Ahmed El-Boraie, legal expert Mona Zul-Fakar, chairman of the National Council for Women Mervat El-Talawy, writer Ammar Ali Hassan, among others.

The first phase of Egypt’s parliamentary elections will start on 17-18 October for Egyptians abroad and 18-19 October for voters inside Egypt, the HEC announced late August.

The second phase of the elections will start on 21-22 November for Egyptians abroad and 22-23 November for home-based Egyptians.  

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