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Egypt: Supreme Council of Armed Forces Approves Provisions Amending Presidential Election Law

(Feb. 1, 2012) On January 21, Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued Decree 12-2012, amending an array of provisions found in Law 174-2005 on presidential elections. The new Law grants political parties that are represented in the Parliament the right to nominate a presidential candidate from among their members.

The Law also establishes a number of requirements that individuals must meet in order to be eligible for presidential candidacy. For example, article 1 of the Law states that any individual who is interested in registering his/her name as a presidential candidate must obtain the endorsement of 30 members of the Parliament or of 30,000 Egyptians from 15 provinces. Those supporters must be eligible voters, and the number of supporters in each province must not be less than 1,000. In addition, article 2 provides that only Egyptian citizens born to Egyptian parents, who do not hold dual citizenship, are eligible to be presidential candidates. The same article stipulates that the Law disqualifies any individuals who did not complete their military service or who are married to foreign citizens. (Muhamed Hamzawi, SCAF Issues a Law Without the Approval of the Parliament [in Arabic], AL DOSTOR (Jan. 30, 2012).)

SCAF issued the Law four days before the Parliament held its first session on January 23, 2012. A representative of SCAF mentioned in a press release that the current Parliament has the right to review all the laws and decrees that SCAF issued before the session began. (Id.)