New presidential elections law comes under fire

Aya Nader
3 Min Read
Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy (AFP Photo)
Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy (AFP Photo)
Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy
(AFP Photo)

The secretary general of the Lawyers’ Syndicate in Al-Behera filed a lawsuit before the State Council in Alexandria on Saturday protesting a recent presidential degree that bans appeals against the Supreme Electoral Commission(SEC), state-owned Al-Ahram reported .

Lawyer Gamal Khattab asked the court to halt the implementation of Presidential Decree No. 22 for the year 2014, which the interim presidency issued Saturday outlining the new presidential elections law. The decree axed an article of the law that would have allowed citizens to file appeals against any SEC decisions.

Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy’s campaign objected to the change in Sunday statement, calling it unconstitutional, and asked interim President Adly Mansour to use his temporary authority to reconsider and cancel the omission.

Sabahy’s campaign said it would “reevaluate the whole elections situation”, since the existence of guarantees for seriousness, integrity and consistency with international standards is an important condition for running in any election. It emphasised that it would carefully monitor all the procedures governing the electoral process during the coming period and would reach its final decision based on these observations.

The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights also issued a statement objecting to this decree, saying that it “deducts from the integrity and transparency of the electoral process and violates the constitution.” It is incorrect to “immunise a legal committee whose job is supervision”, the organisation stated.

Al-Dostour Party’s spokesman Khaled Dawoud said his party was “surprised” by the decision to ban appeals, and that “most constitutional experts find it suspicious.”

Shaaban Abdel Alim, a high board member of the Salafi Al-Nour Party, agreed that the decision is unconstitutional, and said that the party had issued a statement refusing it.

Hamdeen’s campaign also said the new law came out late “without any explanation”, which raises questions about the transparency of the elections.

Raising the ceiling for campaign spending to EGP 20m in the new law was unnecessary, and called for strict, unbiased supervision on candidate campaign spending, the party stated.

Tayar Al-Sha’aby, whose leader is Sabahy, supported the statement.

This would be the second time for Sabahy to enter the race for presidency. He ran in the 2012 presidential elections and garnered almost five million votes, which accounted for 20.7% of the total.

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