Egypt polls face delay after election law appeal

Egypt polls face delay after election law appeal
Six appeals have been lodged over areas of Egypt's election laws, placing in doubt parliamentary polls due to begin in March.
2 min read
11 February, 2015
There are six appeals outstanding against the election law [AFP]

The Administrative Court in Cairo has accepted an appeal against the constitutionality of a law prohibiting dual nationals from standing for election to parliament.

This is the sixth appeal against the law regulating parliamentary elections. If one of these appeals is upheld, parliamentary elections scheduled to be held between 21 March and 7 May might be plunged into chaos.

Essam al-Islambouli, the lawyer who filed the appeal against the ban on dual nationals standing for parliament, said: "The constitution stipulates the conditions a parliamentary candidate must meet, however it does not specify any conditions regarding the candidate’s nationality, and the same goes for a member of the government."

However, Islambouli added, the constitution does specify that the president and prime minister should be Egyptian born to Egyptian parents, and that neither the candidate for either of these posts, his parents nor his wife should have ever held another nationality.

     If the appeals are accepted, the elections will have to be postponed.

Islambouli said: "If the constitution intended to limit parliamentary candidates it would have specified these conditions, as it did with the presidency and premiership."

The Administrative Court has also accepted another appeal against the division of constituencies in the parliamentary law, which brings the number of appeals against the law regulating the parliamentary elections, scheduled to begin in the third week of March, to six.

Sources within the Supreme Constitutional Court said the court’s deputy committee has started looking into four appeals against the parliamentary law, and noted that the court would most probably come to a decision on those appeals by the last week of February.

The sources said that if the Supreme Constitutional Court accepted the appeals against the law on the division of constituencies and the nationality law, the elections would have to be postponed. Registration for candidates opened last Sunday.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.