President issues presidential elections law

CAIRO: Interim President Adly Mansour issued on Saturday a law regulating the country’s upcoming presidential elections, President Advisor for Constitutional Affairs Ali Awad announced in a press conference held Saturday.

The law grants immunity to the Supreme Electoral Commission’s decisions from appeals by other judicial bodies, according to article 7 in the law.

This paves the way for the second step of the transitional roadmap, following the constitutional referendum, Awad said. The law took some time and was issued only after fulfilling the procedures and conducting dialogue with the political forces and receiving their proposals, he added.

Awad noted that the law includes 60 articles, divided into seven chapters, including the conditions for candidacy, the Supreme Electoral Commission, electoral campaign regulations, the procedures for candidacy, penalties and final provisions.

Awad said the law lists eights conditions for the eligibility for running for president. The candidate must be Egyptian, with both parents having only the Egyptian nationality. He/she must hold a university degree, be more than 40 years of age, and must not to have a mental illness that would affect his/her job duties. The candidate should also not have a criminal record, and should have completed his military service, or been exempted.

He added that the maximum limit for the presidential campaign fund has been increased to 20 million EGP for the first round, and five million EGP for the runoff, contrary to the 2012 elections’ budget, which was 10 million EGP for the first round and two million EGP for the runoff.

Awad added that the candidate must have 25,000 endorsements from people who are authorized to vote from at least 15 governorates, and the endorsements should be signed by a minimum of 1,000 citizens from each governorate.

Meanwhile, the jurist Ramadan Batekh told The Cairo Post, “Article 7 violates the constitution, which approves the right to appeal the Supreme Electoral Commission’s decisions.”

“The article opens the door to appeals on the article, due to its unconstitutionality,” Batekh added.

Further, the date for candidacy not been declared yet, he added, noting that there is no connection between issuing the presidential law and opening the door for candidacy.

The draft law was sent by Mansour’s legal team to the State Council’s Department of Fatwas and Legislation on Feb. 17 to be revised in legal and constitutional terms, and on March 3 the department announced the completion of the law, which was then submitted to the president on the next day for ratification. The Cabinet approved the law on Thursday.

Mansour had amended the roadmap by conducting the presidential elections before the parliamentary elections on Jan. 26.

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