SCAF is committed to 'Disenfranchisement Law', Tantawi tells Parliament

Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Apr 2012

Head of SCAF issues a statement on Tuesday respecting People's Assembly proposal on disenfranchisement law, despite having concerns it might unfairly bar some citizens from exercising political rights

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Egypt's ruling military council Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (photo: REuters)

Saad El-Katatni, speaker of parliament, read a statement on the new Disenfranchisement Law in Tuesday's  session sent by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), to the People's Assembly .

Tantawi's statement explained, "The SCAF had referred the disenfranchisement law to the Supreme Constitutional Court, because it prohibits some Egyptians from exercising their political rights without a judicial decree. In light of the constitutional court's decision, and being committed to the proposed legislation by the respected People's Assembly, we ratified it".

This statement came after the government's official newspaper Al-Gareeda Al-Rasmiya published on Monday evening the 'Disenfranchisement Law' making it official after it was signed by the ruling military council earlier in the day.

The Corruption of Political Life Law, more commonly known as the 'Disenfranchisement Law', which was discussed and approved last week by the People's Assembly, stipulates that a limited number of individuals who served in top positions in the regime of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak during the last ten years of his reign would not be eligible to enter the presidential race set for May of this year, or run for public posts for five years.

The law, which comes two days before the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) issues the final list of eligible presidential candidates on 26 April, could lead to the elimination of former Mubarak prime minister Ahmed Shafiq from the race for the country's highest office. However, the law would not apply to presidential candidate and former Mubarak minister of foreign affairs Amr Moussa who left his post in 2001.

The SPEC annouced that it will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the implementation of the new law.

Earlier on Saturday, Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) rejected the military council request to determine the constitutionality of the drafted Disenfranchisement Law before proposed legislation becomes law. The SCC said it has no legal jurisdiction over draft legislations that have not yet been approved by the SCAF. It added that the Disenfranchisement Law must be enacted first before it could issue any rulings on constitutionality.

According to the constitutional declaration that was issued by the SCAF in March 2011, the ruling military council must ratify any laws proposed by the Parliament before they go into effect.  

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