The Supreme Elections Commission (SEC) cannot accept nomination papers from members of the Muslim Brotherhood in upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, an Alexandria court ruled on Tuesday.
The Brotherhood, which was classified as a terrorist organisation by the cabinet in December, has been the target of an extensive crackdown since former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster last July.
While the court ruling prohibits the nomination of members of the outlawed group in upcoming polls, the group has repeatedly announced that it does not recognise the military-backed post-Morsi roadmap and the scheduled elections set to install a new president and House of Representatives.
Article 74 of the newly ratified constitution prohibits the formation of political parties on the basis of religion. The stipulation did not exist in the 2012 version of the constitution, which instead stated that leaders of the dissolved former ruling National Democratic Party were banned from political work and prohibited from running in presidential or legislative elections for a period of 10 years. The restrictions on Mubarak’s former party were left out of the constitution when a new Constituent Assembly amended the document following Morsi’s ouster.
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Brotherhood’s political wing, won the most seats in the 2011-2012 elections for the People’s Assembly as part of the Democratic Alliance, winning approximately 38% of the vote.
The FJP also won the most seats in the subsequent elections for the Shura Council, winning 105 seats out of a possible 180, and roughly 45% of the vote in the election that saw a staggeringly low turnout.
Morsi then proceeded to win presidential elections and resigned from his position as the FJP’s chairman following his victory.
The first round for upcoming presidential elections is scheduled to take place on 26 and 27 May. Elections for the House of Representatives are expected to take place later this year.