Egypt Judges' Club elections suffer boycott

Ahram Online, Friday 23 Mar 2012

Reformist movement within judiciary boycotts 'corrupt' board elections for Judges' Club, more than half of candidates withdraw

Ahmed El-Zanad
Judges Club President Ahmed El-Zanad

Around 11,000 judges in Egypt are set to elect a new Judges' Club board on Friday. However, the Independence Current – a reformist movement of judges calling for increased judicial independence – has called for a boycott of the elections and condemned the process as corrupt.

Initially, 52 judges were to run for positions on the board, but the boycott led to the withdrawal of 30 candidates.

Two of the remaining candidates are competing for the presidency, one of whom is current president, Ahmed El-Zanad. Of the 22 judges who remain in the race, 14 are competing for a second term in office.

The Independence Current has condemned the election, alleging it does not meet the required legal standards, for which it blames El-Zanad.

In response, El-Zanad has blamed the group's withdrawal on its "fear of losing the elections," arguing that he, together with the judges running on his list, have been active whilst in office and gained widespread popularity.  

The Independence Current was responsible for the judges sit-in in 2005/06 calling for judicial independence.

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