By Heba Hesham
CAIRO: The Presidential Election Committee began Thursday to consider objections presented by candidates over the eligibility of fellow contenders, as political powers called for a million-strong demonstration Friday to protest the nomination of members of the former regimes and law clauses giving the PEC legal immunity.
On Wednesday, the committee said it received three objections, the first of which was presented by Ahmed Awad, the candidate of Egypt’s National Party, against Mortada Mansour, candidate of the same party. Awad urged the PEC not to adopt the decision by the Political Parties’ Affairs Committee accepting Mansour’s nomination, saying it was unlawful.
MP Abu El-Ezz Al-Hariry, candidate of the Popular Alliance Socialist Party, submitted an objection to the candidacy of Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Khairat Al-Shater, saying the latter was not rehabilitated after his previous judicial conviction, therefore should be deprived of practicing his political rights.
A court looking into the qualification of Al-Shater to contest the presidency recused itself on Wednesday. El-Hariry challenged at court the political pardon given by the military council to Al-Shater.
His case was based on Article 56 of the Constitutional Declaration that states that a comprehensive pardon cannot be granted without a law legislated by the People’s Assembly.
The third objection was submitted by candidate Ahmed Hossam Khairallah of the Democratic Peace Party, challenging the candidacy of a number of candidates affiliated to parties that contested the parliamentary elections in electoral alliances as opposed to single-party lists.
The candidates include El-Hariry, Ashraf Baroma of Misr El-Kenana Party, Mohamed Fawzi Eissa of El-Geel Democratic Party, Hisham El-Bastawisi of Al-Tagammu, Abdullah Al-Ash’al of Al-Asala, Mamdouh Helmi Qotb of the Civilization Party, Hossam Khairat of Egypt’s Arab Socialist Party, and Ayman Nour of Ghad El-Thawra.
The committee will rule on these objections within 48 hours (Thursday and Friday), followed by another 48 hours (Saturday and Sunday), to give excluded candidates the opportunity to appeal.
The committee will rule on the appeal on April 16 before the final candidates’ list is announced April 26.
The MB’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Salafi Front and the Islamic Group (Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiya) said they will participate in a protest planned for Friday, April 13 in Tahrir Square, to protect the revolution from the remnants of the former regime (commonly called felool).
Friday’s protest is organized to demand the political exclusion of former regime figures, and to prevent them from running for the state’ top post. The parliament approved Thursday a law excluding two of the main contenders affiliated by the former regime. It’s yet to be applied.
The Salafi Front stressed in a statement its refusal of the candidacy of former regime figures including Omar Suleiman, Ahmed Shafiq and Amr Moussa. By any means necessary, even away from the current legal and constitutional debate, they should be excluded from politics since the only viable law in the current situation is the law of the revolution, the statement said.
On the other hand, the April 6 Youth Movement, Ahmed Maher’s front, said it will not take part in Friday demonstrations.
The movement said in a statement that it is not part of what it described as political conflicts over power or for interests of some players in the political scene, noting that these conflicts are unrelated to the revolution and its demands upon which Egyptians had agreed.