Supreme court rules Egypt vote must start May 23
Egypt's highest court overturns lower-court ruling which suspended procedures for the election over intra-body conflict.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters attend a Cairo rally Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany
Egypt’s presidential election must start as scheduled on May 23, the
country’s highest administrative court said Saturday in Cairo.
The Supreme Administrative Court made the ruling, overturning a lower-court decision that had suspended procedures for the vote.
court also upheld the right of the Election Commission to challenge a
law barring some officials from former president Hosni Mubarak’s
administration from running for the presidency. The decision went
against a lower court’s ruling that the election panel had exceeded its
authority by referring the law to the Constitutional Court.
Mubarak was forced from office in February 2011 following pro-democracy protests.
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose top candidate was banned from the presidential ballot, protested a decision by the Election Commission to allow Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, to enter the race.
The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, the largest in parliament, has complained that the elected legislature has been undercut by the ruling military council, its appointed government and the Election Commission.
The tensions between the elections commission and the parliament, combined with sporadic but deadly street clashes between protesters and Egyptian security forces such as the one that broke out in front of the Defense Ministry earlier this month, have created an air of uncertainty for the upcoming elections, which will commence May 23 and continue to May 24. A run-off between the two top candidates is likely and scheduled for mid-June.
Egypt's democratic experiment is being closely watched by long-time ally the United States and neighboring Israel, both unnerved by the sweeping success of Islamists who were long repressed by Mubarak but who now dominate parliament.
Jpost.com staff and Reuters contributed to this report