Socialist Popular Alliance reject El-Hariri appeal to reverse El-Shater pardon

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Apr 2012

Leftist party condemn their presidential candidate's lawsuit calling for court to overturn decision to grant Brotherhood candidate Khairat El-Shater right to run for presidency as they reject military trials for civilians

Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP), issued a statement Tuesday condemning a lawsuit filed by their presidential contender Abul-Ezz El-Hariri that calls for the court to overturn a decision made by Egypt's ruling military council to grant Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat El-Shater the right to participate in politics.

The statement emphasised that SPAP rejects military trials for civilians and any penalties or rulings that are a result of these trials. Therefore they do not recognise the sentence given to El-Shater in 2008, as the verdict was reached by a military court.

The leftist party added that the January 25 Revolution succeeded in regaining freedom and dignity for Egyptian citizens. Consequently they refuse appeals to reinstate a military sentence against any presidential candidate, including El-Shater.

El-Shater was sentenced to seven years in jail after being accused of money laundering. According to Egyptian law, even after serving his jail time, the former deputy leader of the Brotherhood was barred from running for president for ten years.

El-Shater reportedly received a pardon from the ruling military council shortly before he announced he was running in the presidential elections.  

Nevertheless, the SPAP issued another statement on the same day maintaining their full support of the presidential candidate, emphasising that El-Hariri's personal decision to appeal against El-Shater would not affect the party's choice to back him.  

The statement also stressed the importance of combating former regime candidates, like ex-head of intelligence Omar Suleiman, by "pro-revolution" parties reaching consensus on a single presidential candidate that they all will jointly back.

A well-known member of Parliament, socialist and labour activist over the past 50 years, El-Hariri has a long record of fighting for social justice.

The SPAP nominated El-Hariri on 7 March, 2012 as the party's candidate in the presidential elections. He announced his candidacy that night on Al-Arabiya satellite TV.

Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round on 16 and 17 June.

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