Court overturns previous ruling, says NDP members can run in elections
The burned buiding of National Democratic Party in Cairo during Jan 25 revolution in 2011 - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters overturned Monday an earlier ruling preventing former members of the National Democratic Party (NDP) from running in elections.

The court previously ruled in May that members of former President Hosni Mubarak’s NDP, which was dissolved in 2011, may not run for elections because they appointed “corrupt” cabinets, issued “contradictory” laws and their political involvement would “endanger” Egypt.

“No one should be politically isolated unless he committed a crime. Also, the Constitution does not provide for political isolation. As long as he did not commit something involving moral turpitude and a misdemeanor, he is entitled to run,” said Hafez Abu Se’da, head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Youm7 reported Monday.

Journalist Nabil Louqa Bebawy, former parliamentarian Talaat al-Qawwas, television presenter Taqfiq Okasha and other former NDP members appealed the previous ruling in order to run in the upcoming parliamentary election, Youm7 reported.

A lower district court previously ruled it lacked jurisdiction over such lawsuits and that the Court of Administrative Judiciary should deliberate the lawsuit, the ruling said.

Qawwas, who was investigated in the case of attacking the Tahrir Square anti-Mubarak sit-in on Feb. 2, 2011, told Youm7 that he actually supports the political isolation of anyone with a final sentence, but that not all former NDP were implicated in crimes.

He added that he would run for parliamentary elections in Abdeen district, which he previously represented as an NDP member.

Ahmed Mahran, head of the Cairo Center for Political and Legal Studies, told Youm7 he will challenge Monday’s ruling before the Court of Administrative Judiciary.

However, Mahran said he agreed that the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters lacks jurisdiction over this kind of case, and that only a final sentence can lawfully prevent a citizen from political involvement because Egypt does not have a law for political crimes.

Saber Emad, secretary-general of the Arab Lawyers Union, told Youm7 that the ruling should be appealed before the only competent court in the field of political parties, which is the Court of Administrative Judiciary.

Emad said he predicted the revocation of the ruling because it was a form of “generalization” and “collective punishment.”

Additional reporting by Rania Amer, Samar Salama and Ahmed Arafa.

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