Presidential Elections Law amendments referred to Egypt's constitutional court

Ahram Online, Tuesday 28 Feb 2012

Parliament approves procedures for vote counting and results announcement, refers amendments to constitutional court; Islamist majority reject amendments to article 28 of ruling military's constitutional declaration

Members of Egyptian Parliament. (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Parliament has approved Presidential Elections Law amendments on Monday, and has referred them to the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The Presidential Election Commission (PEC) is to announce details of Egypt's upcoming presidential elections within the next hours.

Among the dates expected to be confirmed are: when candidates can submit their application; voting; when the results will be announced and runoffs (if necessary) both in and outside Egypt.

The amendments issued by Parliament include adding a clause to article 30 of the Presidential Elections Law of 2005. This clause specifies that each sub-committee announce the results after counting the votes. The head of the sub-committee is to then hand in the results to the head of the general committee. Finally, the general committee is to compile the voting lists and verify the number of votes each candidate received.

Subsequently, the committee will announce the number of valid votes that each candidate received in the presence of the candidates or their representatives, the public and media. The general committee then forwards the record to the PEC.

The newly amended law will be referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court for revision within a period of 15 days, to ensure that it conforms to the constitutional declaration which was issued by the ruling military council on 30 March 2011.

During the debates, Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) MPs rejected the amending of article 28 of the constitutional declaration which makes the decisions of the PEC immune from any appeals.

Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential election will take place in May. Registration for presidential candidates had already been announced as 10 March, allowing one and a half months for campaigning.

Last month, the military council's Advisory Committee proposed holding presidential elections on 16 May, a month earlier than the June deadline set by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Some revolutionary groups have been pushing for earlier presidential elections for months, and many are calling for the ruling military council to hand over power immediately to a civil authority.

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