Last updated: 23 September, 2012

Egyptian court says ex-regime figures can join elections

Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court on Sunday ruled that members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s dissolved party can stand in future parliamentary elections.

The court found that any Egyptian citizen should not be deprived of political rights, “including the right to run in legislative bodies,” as long as that person meets the candidacy requirements, judicial sources said.

The ruling allows members of Mubarak’s former ruling and now disbanded National Democratic Party to be candidates in future parliamentary elections.

In April 2011, just weeks after protests forced Mubarak to resign after three decades in power, the Supreme Administrative Court dissolved the NDP and ordered its funds and property handed over to the government.

The same court on Saturday upheld a June ruling dissolving the Islamist-dominated lower house of parliament.

The People’s Assembly was elected late last year, with Islamists winning an overwhelming majority. But on June 14 the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled it invalid, saying there were irregularities in the electoral law.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which ruled after Mubarak was ousted, then dissolved the house. The army was given legislative control, provoking outrage among those wishing to see the military cede power.

On July 8, President Mohamed Morsi, who had risen through the Muslim Brotherhood’s ranks, issued a decree ordering the reinstatement of parliament, which the SCC froze two days later.

In August Morsi ordered the surprise retirement of his powerful defence minister and scrapped a constitutional document which handed sweeping powers to the military, in a move some said was aimed at ending the SCAF’s power.

Fresh legislative elections are to take place two months after the adoption of a new constitution, which is being drafted by a committee dominated by Islamists and due to be finalised by the end of the year.