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Egypt’s presidential elections process to start 30 March: Judicial source

All potential candidates need to be already included in the voter database by 30 March, which will mark the beginning of the elections process

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Saturday 22 Mar 2014

Egypt’s Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) is to meet on 30 March to announce a registration date for the candidates who will stand in the country’s presidential elections, a judicial source said on Saturday.

All potential candidates need to be already included in the voter database by 30 March, the source added. He also said preparations for the anticipated elections, the second since a popular uprising toppled autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011, have already started.

According to rules governing the electoral process, army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will have to resign before the end of the month to be eligible for inclusion in the voter database. Military personnel can neither vote nor run in any elections.

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi is the only one to have officially revealed his intention to stand in the elections. El-Sisi, who led the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi after mass protests against his rule last year, is expected to follow suit soon.

Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour issued on 8 March a law regulating the country's upcoming presidential elections.

The president approved controversial Article 7 in the law which makes the Presidential Election Commission’s decisions immune to appeals by other judicial bodies.

In response to objections made by political forces against article 7, Mansour finally announced on Saturday that no legislative amendments can be made to allow appeals in the upcoming presidential polls.

The intense debate around the law and the delays in finalising it have delayed the election process, which was expected to begin on 18 February, one month after the country’s new constitution was approved in a public referendum.

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