Controversy over SEC’s immunity continues after meeting with Mansour
Adly Mansour - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Granting immunity to the Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC) would be one of the factors prompting former presidential candidate Khaled Ali to decide on not running in the 2014 presidential elections, Adel Wasili, spokesperson of Ali’s campaign, told Youm7 Thursday.

While Ali was not invited to Wednesday’s meeting with interim President Adly Mansour, some invited parties and politicians, including Hamdeen Sabbahi, still oppose granting the SEC immunity.

Sabbahi said in press statements that he would study canceling his presidential bid with the officials of his campaign. He reiterated his rejection of the immunity, saying that it would threaten the constitutionality of the next president.

Sabbahi’s presidential bid would be reconsidered in light of the “seriousness” of the entire electoral process, where the immunity is not the only factor, Sabbahi said.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party insists on refusing the presidential election law because of the immunity of the SEC, the failure to identify the physical challenges that would disable a candidate from running in the elections and the short duration allowed to collect signatures nominating candidates.

Shihab Wagih, spokesperson of the Free Egyptians Party, told Youm7 that Mansour’s legal and constitutional grounds of granting immunity to the SEC were “convincing and logical.”

The preliminary impression of the Free Egyptians Party is to accept the immunity; however, the matter would be presented to the party’s board in the next 48 hours to announce a final stance, Wagih said.

Opponents of the immunity cite article 97 of the constitution which states that “any stipulation of immunity of any act or administrative decision from the control of the judicature is prohibited,” to argue that although the SEC is comprised of judges, it is carrying out an administrative task.

Constitutional experts, including head of the Constitutional Court Maher al-Beheiry, who argue that the law is legal say that the SEC’s decision are judicial, not administrative, according to a ruling by the Constitutional Court.

“The decisions of the SEC’s sub-committees could be challenged before the General Committee, whose decisions could be challenged before the SEC itself,” Beheiry told Al-Masry Al-Youm in February.

“The SEC is comprised of judges who are equal to the judges of the Supreme Administrative Court, before which the SEC’s decisions would be challenged if not granted immunity,” Beheiry added.

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