Former Prime Minister and current presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: Reuters)
In a triumphant tone and citing verses from the Quran, presidential finalist and Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq, in the company of hundreds of supporters, celebrated Thursday's High Constitutional Court verdict that found Egypt's Political Disenfranchisement Law unconstitutional.
If applied, the law – which had been endorsed by Egypt's Islamist-led parliament – would have banned Mubarak-era officials from holding high positions of state. The ruling will allow Shafiq to contest the presidency against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi in a runoff vote on 16 and 17 June.
"The constitutional court has issued a historical verdict," Shafiq crowed at a Cairo press conference. "The era of tailoring legislation to suit the needs of specific parties or groups is over."
The presidential hopeful went on to urge Egyptians to go to the polls on Saturday and Sunday without fear. "I'm sure the electoral process will be secured by the army and police in the best way possible," Shafiq declared, while his supporters chanted, "The people and army are one hand."
Shafiq has promised, if elected, to combat Egypt's chronic unemployment problem and promote large development projects with the aim of stimulating the national economy. He has also vowed to respect citizens' right to stage demonstrations and sit-ins, according to the law.