Former Egypt PM Shafiq to appeal presidential election ban

Ahram Online, Wednesday 25 Apr 2012

Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq to appeal SPEC decision barring him from presidential race Wednesday; says Disenfranchisement Law 'unconstitutional and illegitimate'

Ahmed Shafiq
Former Mubarak's prime minister, airforce chief and long-time Mubarak minister, Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: reuters)

Ahmed Shafiq, the final prime minister of the Mubarak era who was barred from standing for president Tuesday under the newly ratified Disenfranchisement Law, has said he will appeal the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission's (SPEC) decision Wednesday.

The former prime minister thanked his supporters for flocking to his side in an emergency meeting held late on Tuesday night shorly after he was disqualified from the race at his campaign headquarters in Cairo. 

He urged them to respect the law and judiciary during any future protests, to consider the hard political and economic circumstances that Egypt was passing through and "not to act like kids.

"The Disenfranchisement Law is illegitimate, unconstitutional and an unfortunate start to Egypt's democratic future because it threatens the principles of democracy itself, Shafiq said.

According to the former prime minister, he met lawyers on Tuesday who raised suspicions about the legitimacy of the law because "it was founded to exclude Shafiq from the race, especially as he submitted presidential papers before the law became official."

Shafiq said he would challenge the commission's decision and return to the presidential campaign. 

He will be in Sohag in Upper Egypt on Friday as a part of his presidential tour.

In addition, Shafiq's supporters charged on the official Twitter account of his campaign that the law was a "conspiracy against the revolution."

Ahmed Sarhan, Shafiq's official spokesman, said the barred candidate would not give up his political or legal rights and talk that he would withdraw was farfetched.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ratified late Monday the Disenfranchisement Law (officially called the Corrupting of Political Life Law), and sent it for a final vote to Parliament.

An official statement was issued in the state newspaper, Al-Gareeda Al-Rasmeya on Tuesday morning, thus allowing for the immediate implementation of the law.

The law, which was discussed and approved last week by the People's Assembly, places limits on the political rights of certain citizens.

According to the law, a limited number of individuals who served in top positions in the last ten years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule would not be eligible to enter the presidential race set for May of this year. Nor are they able to run for public posts for the next five years.

The SPEC had announced earlier on Tuesday that it would hold an emergency meeting to discuss ways of implementing the newly ratified Disenfranchisement Law.

A former commander of the Egyptian Air Force and politician, Ahmed Shafiq was a long-time minister in Mubarak's government and served as his last prime minister in the final stretch of the rule of the ousted president.

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