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Egypt: Supreme Administrative Court Rules Parliamentary Elections Void

(Dec. 21, 2010) On December 4, 2010, the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), the highest administrative judicial body in Egypt, invalidated the two rounds of polling for the November 2010 Egyptian parliamentary elections. It upheld 1,000 court decisions issued by multiple circuits of the Administrative Judicial Court (lower court) (AJC) ordering that the announcement of the election results be halted. (Jehan Mustafah, The Egyptian Elections: The Supreme Administrative Court Steals the Happiness of the National Party [in Arabic], AL MOHEET ARAB INFORMATION NETWORK (Dec. 14, 2010),

The execution of the SAC's ruling will affect about 40 percent of the current seats in Parliament. More specifically, the ruling invalidated the results of the election in 92 constituencies, affecting 184 seats out of a total of 508. The Egyptian Constitution provides that a parliamentary quorum is established if at least 350 members are elected. However, in this case, the quorum was not met because of the SAC's action. Accordingly, the SAC demanded that the parliamentary elections as a whole be declared void and it directed that new elections be held. (Id.)

The SAC argued that the High Election Commission failed to enforce the judicial rulings issued by the AJC. The SAC stated that the Commission and the Ministry of the Interior (with responsibility for homeland security) violated legal and constitutional principles by refusing to enforce the AJC's decision concerning the registration of additional candidates, eliminating candidates from the lists without any justification, and denying the candidates' representatives from entering the polling stations. (Id.)

The Parliament convened despite the SAC ruling. The Egyptian executive branch and the High Election Commission ignored the SAC decision and declared that the elections were transparent and represented the votes of the Egyptian public. (Id.)