By Heba Fahmy
CAIRO: The military ruler pardoned head of the Ghad El-Thawra Party, Ayman Nour, from a previous conviction, giving him the opportunity to run for Egypt’s top office.
“The military council issued a presidential decree giving Ayman Nour the right to elect and nominate himself (in the presidential elections), practice all his political rights and drop all penalties against him,” Nour wrote on his twitter account.
Last year, the Court of Cassation dismissed an appeal for a retrial in the case of the Ghad Party proxies, which Nour was accused of forging in 2005.
The court supported a previous verdict, issued by the Criminal Court that sentenced him to five years in prison shortly following the 2005 presidential election, in a case widely perceived as politically-motivated. Nour came a distant second to then-president Hosni Mubarak in Egypt’s first multi-candidate presidential election.
Nour was released in 2009 on health grounds but the charges were not dropped even after the uprising that ousted Mubarak last year.
When the retrial was refused, Nour claimed that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was involved in the verdict, which he described as political “assassination.”
Earlier this month, Nour said during a press conference that he might decide not to run in this round of the presidential race even if he was pardoned.
“I have the right to run in the presidential election and I’m entitled to that right — whether I decide to run in this election or not,” he previously said.
However, leading member of the Ghad El-Thawra Party, Shady Taha confirmed on Wednesday that Nour will start registering for the presidential election this year, according to the Middle East State News Agency (MENA).
Registration for candidacy started on March 10 and will end on April 8. About 1,000 citizens had acquired the registration documents so far. The election is slated for May 23-24.
Nour had said that a delegation of 20 members would approach the ruling military council to demand annulling all politically-motivated verdicts, including the one against him.
“They will present a [request] with 150 signatures from MPs calling for the annulment of all political, arbitrary verdicts against [all Egyptians], not just me,” Nour previously said.