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Egypt: Supreme Electoral Commission Disqualifies Ten Candidates from Presidential Race

(Apr. 24, 2012) On April 15, 2012, the Supreme Electoral Commission of Egypt disqualified ten candidates from the upcoming presidential race because they are in violation of the country's election laws. The Commission also rejected the appeals submitted by each of the barred candidates contesting the respective disqualification decisions. Four key candidates who were barred from running for President are: Khairat al-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood's representative; the former Chief of the Egyptian Central Intelligence Agency, Omar Suleiman; Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, a representative of the Islamic Salafi Movement (an Islamic interest group that emphasizes taking the earliest Muslims as exemplars for the practice of Islam); and Ayman Nour, President of the Liberal al Gahd Party. (The Decision of the Supreme Electoral Commission to Disqualify Candidates from the Presidential Race [in Arabic], AL YOUM 7 (Apr. 18, 2012).)

The Commission had different reasons for rejecting each candidate. The Commission barred Omar Suleiman because his campaign did not submit a sufficient number of powers of attorney from his supporters, in violation of article 27 of the Constitutional Declaration. The Commission disqualified Khairat al-Shater because he failed to submit a formal written declaration of “rehabilitation” issued by the Military Court in connection with crimes charged against him by that court. Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail was excluded from candidacy because he is said to be in violation of article 26 of the Constitutional Declaration, related to the foreign citizenship of his mother. Finally, the Commission barred Ayman Nour because he failed to submit a written statement of rehabilitation issued by the Criminal Court in connection with previous crimes for which he had been convicted by that court. (Id.; George Sadek, Egypt: Presidential Candidate Files Lawsuit to Prove That His Mother Is Not an American Citizen, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Apr. 17, 2012), see also George Sadek, Egypt: Law Drafted to Ban Members of Mubarak's Regime from Running in Presidential Race, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR(Apr. 16, 2012).)