Egyptian parliamentary elections nomination period opens Saturday

Ahram Online, Saturday 2 Mar 2013

Nominations for Egypt's upcoming legislative elections will be accepted from Saturday, 9 March for period of one week

Parliament Elections
File photo: Ballot boxes on their way to counting stations during Egypt's 2010 parliamentary elections (file photo)

Egypt's Higher Electoral Commission (HEC) has announced that nominations for the upcoming parliamentary elections will start next Saturday.

The nominations period will extend for a week, from 9-16 March.

President Mohamed Morsi recently announced that elections for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament formally known as the People's Assembly, would take place in four stages starting 22 April and ending 24 June.

Samir Abo El-Maaty, HEC head, said in a press conference Saturday that the commission had approved 50 local and four international organisations to monitor the elections. 

He also said that the commission set LE1 million as the financial limit for parties' lists and independent candidates campaign financing in the elections. This amount can be topped by LE300,000 in the run-offs. 

Abo El-Maaty added that using religion, receiving money from abroad, using state-owned buildings and transport vehicles, attacking other candidate's campaigns, or using force or threat during elections campaigns are all prohibited. 

He said that if any candidate commits a violation, the commission's head may refer the case to the High Administrative Court that would remove the person from the candidates list, barring him or her from running in the elections. 

Egypt's Shura Council, which currently acts as Egypt's legislative body until the House of Representatives is elected, has approved a controversial elections law setting out the procedures to follow in the elections.

The High Constitutional Court rejected a draft of the elections law last month, referring it back to the Shura Council for amendments. However, the Shura Council then approved the law directly without referring it back to court.

The National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt's largest opposition grouping, has announced it will boycott the elections on the grounds that the elections law is "unconstitutional."

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