An Egyptian lower administrative court on Wednesday ordered a presidential election due later this month suspended, a judicial source told AFP, although the ruling is likely to be overturned.
The court in the Nile Delta city of Benha said the first round scheduled for May 23 and 24 should not go ahead, as the law did not give the electoral commission chief powers to call the poll.
But the ruling will be appealed in Cairo on Thursday and is expected to be overturned, the judicial source said, because the military ruler who exercises executive authority delegated the powers to the commission chief.
The decision comes just two weeks ahead of Egypt’s first presidential election since a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year.
The run-up to the election has been drama-filled with repeated legal twists and turns that have kept the Arab world’s most populous nation on edge.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, which took power when Mubarak was ousted, has vowed to hand over to civilian rule once a president has been elected.
The main candidates running include former Arab League chief Amr Mussa, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi and former Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh.