Egypt's Nour Party calls for electoral law to be referred to HCC

Ahram Online, Saturday 2 Mar 2013

Salafist Nour Party has again called for recent electoral law to be referred to High Constitutional Court, in order to avoid court again dissolving parliament's lower chamber

 Nour Party
Salafist Al-Nour Party chairman Younis Makhioun (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's Salafist Nour Party has renewed its call for the recently passed electoral law to be referred to the High Constitutional Court (HCC).

Nour Party head Younis Makhioun said in a statement Saturday that the law should be referred to the HCC to ensure the upcoming parliament is not dissolved on the grounds that the law governing its election was unconstitutional, like what happened last year.

The HCC referred back last month the law to the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament currently acting as a legislative body till the new House of Representatives is elected, for amendment, stating that 10 articles in the law are unconstitutional.

The Shura Council made certain changes, but did not include all of the HCC's criticisms in its adjustments. It then passed the law without sending it again to the HCC.

Makhioun cited in his statement Maher Sami, vice-president of the HCC, who said last week that the next parliament could potentially be dissolved by court order since the law governing elections was not re-reviewed by the HCC, after it called for amendments to be made on constitutional grounds. 

Sami said that if the law did not take into consideration all of the HCC's criticisms, anyone whose interests are negatively affected by the law could file an appeal against the constitutionality of the law. The HCC would then have to rule on any such case. 

Nour Party has expressed the same concern previously.

"It is wrong to hold elections for a parliament that might be dissolved again for its unconstitutionality … That is a waste of public funds," Ashraf Thabet, a spokesman for El-Nour Party, told Ahram Online last week.

Makhioun went on to call on the presidency to postpone the upcoming elections.

In 2012, the People's Assembly was dissolved after the HCC declared the law that regulated the previous parliamentary elections unconstitutional.

For its part, the National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt's main opposition umbrella, has announced that it will boycott the elections because the electoral law is "unconstitutional."

Nour Party, in coordination with the NSF, recently launched an initiative to form a "national unity" government to include Egypt's diverse political groups in an effort to end ongoing political strife focused on President Mohamed Morsi's government.   

The Higher Electoral Commission (HEC) announced in a press conference Saturday that nominations for the elections would be recorded from next Saturday. Elections themselves will be held in four stages nationwide from 22 April to 24 June.

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