Brotherhood-backed Khalifa elected Lawyers' Syndicate chairman

Safaa Abdoun
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Backed by independents and Muslim Brotherhood members, Hamdy Khalifa was elected chairman of the Lawyers’ Syndicate, garnering 35,842 votes after months-long controversy and legal battles.

Judge Farouk Sultan, head of the South Cairo Primary Court and head of the judicial committee supervising the elections, announced the results Sunday morning.

However, the results for the board elections were yet to be announced at press time.

Former chairman Sameh Ashour came in second with 30,238 votes.

The atmosphere around the syndicate and at other voting stations around the country was described by lawyers as calm, although some were skeptical about the fairness of the elections.

“There were officials, MPs and members of the Shoura Council that are members of the National Democratic Party who went to the voting stations and the syndicate to support Sameh Ashour. This made us think that everything will turn in his favor, said Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, lawyer and member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“However, at the end of the day democracy prevailed and whoever got the highest votes won, he added.

Sultan said that 75,166 members of the syndicate’s general assembly voted, among which 1,229 were considered invalid.

Most of the legal battles that impeded the elections were initiated by candidates opposed to Ashour, who some argued should not be allowed to run for a third term since it is against the law.

Many said that Ashour is backed by the ruling NDP, which may go the extra mile to ensure his victory.

There were 22 candidates vying for the position of syndicate chairman, while 217 lawyers were contesting seats in the 41-member board. Twelve lawyers affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood were running in the elections.

The election was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 23, but was postponed when less than 51 percent of its general assembly showed up.

The elections had been postponed three times since October 2008.

Last January, Cairo’s Administrative Court suspended the election three days before it was scheduled to take place, due to a report issued by a judicial committee to scrutinize the registration of lawyers who would vote.

The report described “violations and errors in the register such as mistakes concerning lawyers’ names and addresses, and the failure to remove the names of deceased lawyers.

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