CAIRO - Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq welcomed court rulings that void a parliamentary vote and allow him to contest the country's leadership, saying an "era of political score settling" was over.

The country's highest court overruled a law passed by the Islamist-dominated parliament that would have barred top Hosni Mubarak-era figures from politics. It also said some rules for an earlier parliamentary election violated the constitution.

"The message of this historic verdict is that the era of political score settling has ended," Shafiq told cheering supporters in Cairo. "The constitutional court has confirmed my right to participate in the election and reinforced the legitimacy of this election."

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