10 Egypt presidential hopefuls face appeals against candidacies

Ahram Online, Thursday 12 Apr 2012

As deadline expires for filing appeals against presidential candidacies, a total of 10 contenders now face legal challenges

Nour, Elshater and Abo Ismail
Nour, Elshater and Abo Ismail

A total of ten appeals have been filed against would-be candidates in next month's presidential elections, Egypt's Supreme Presidential Elections Commission (SPEC) – which closed the door on Wednesday to additional appeals – stated on Thursday.

Abu-Ezz El-Hariri, who is running on the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP)'s ticket, filed an appeal on Wednesday against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat El-Shater.

A successful businessman and multimillionaire, El-Shater was sentenced to seven years in jail by a military court in 2007 after being accused of money laundering and belonging to a "banned group." According to Egyptian law, anyone who has been convicted on criminal charges is barred from running for president for a ten-year period.

El-Shater, however, received a pardon from Egypt's ruling military council shortly before announcing his presidential bid. On Sunday, El-Hariri filed a case with the Administrative Court to overturn the pardon.

Ahmed Mohamed Awad, meanwhile, who is running on the National Egypt Party's ticket, filed an appeal against candidate Mortada Mansour, who is running on the same party's ticket. Awad claims that Masour's nomination is illegal.

Mansour is a prime suspect in last year's "Battle of the Camel," when unarmed protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square were attacked by thugs on camelback at the height of last year's uprising against the Mubarak regime. Mansour, along with 25 other members of the now-defunct former regime, is currently on trial for his role in the affair.

Presidential contender Hossam Khairallah, for his part, who is running on the Peace Democratic Party's ticket, filed eight appeals on Wednesday with the SPEC against eight different candidates for alleged legal violations.

According to Khairallah, a former lieutenant-general in Egypt’s General-Intelligence Directorate, several candidates were nominated through political parties not represented in parliament. Yet Egypt's presidential elections law stipulates that only parties with seats in the People's Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament) can nominate presidential candidates on their ticket.

"I have personal friends whom I filed appeals against," Khairallah said. "But we must respect the rule of law if we want to build a new civil state."

Khairallah's eight appeals were filed against Ashraf Barouma (Kanana Party); Mohamed Fawzy Eissa (Democratic Generation Party); Abu-Ezz El-Hariri (SPAP); Hisham El-Bastawisi (Tagammu Party); Abdullah El-Ashaal (Asalah Party); Mamdouh Helmy Kotb (Civilisation Party); Hussam El-Din Khairat (Arab Socialist Party); and Ayman Nour (Ghad El-Thawra Party).

A final list of approved presidential candidates will be announced on 26 April, to be followed by the election one month later on 23 and 24 May. If no single candidate wins an outright majority, the two leading contenders will face each other in a runoff vote slated for 16 and 17 June.

Short link: