CAIRO: Steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz has announced he will run for the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled in March.
“Despite all the warning I received, I still want to share with the Egyptians their development dream,” he said in a statement released Saturday night.
The Mubarak-era figure explained said his platform would be based upon the economy, and his “real and first battle was basically in manufacturing and development.”
”Strong economic legislation can make this nation move forward with confidence.”
He said he did not plan to discuss his past “mistakes,” which include a conviction for profiteering that is currently in an appeal process, adding that “it is over now.”
Ezz was arrested following the January 25 Revolution; he faced charges along with the former Industry Minister Ibrahim Mohamadeen, for profiteering and misuse of public funds.
On March 2013, Ezz was sentenced to 37 years in jail. He appealed the verdict, and the case was later dropped; he was released after paying 100M EGP($13.9 million.)
In November 2014, Egypt’s Court of Cassation reduced the fine against him from 100 million EGP to 10 million EGP; however the re-trial of his case is still ongoing.
Lawyer and executive director of the Arab Center for Integrity and Transparency Shehata Mohamed told The Cairo Post Sunday that the law cannot ban anyone from running as long as he is not convicted of a crime.
“The first verdict was canceled and now he is clear; this is until another final verdict by the court released either with conviction or acquittal,” he added.
Mohamed explained that if Ezz were convicted after joining the parliament, he would have to leave the post.
Last December, it was reported that during a meeting in one of his factories in the Menoufia governorate, he agreed to nominate himself to the parliament “as a response to the workers’ demands.”
Ezz’s lawyer Mohamed Hamoda told Sada Al-Balad television channel Saturday night that Ezz is going to run through the individual election system. “There is nothing that could prevent him from taking this step, as it’s his legal and constitutional right.”