Move to prevent former Egyptian intelligence chief from contesting poll


The Egyptian parliament, dominated by Islamists, on Thursday approved a law that excludes former senior officials of the Hosni Mubarak regime from the presidential race and strips them of their political rights for 10 years.


The law aims to prevent the former chief of intelligence Omar Suleiman from participating in the presidential election next month.

To become law it has to be ratified by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that took charge from Mubarak when he stepped down last year.

Expectations are that the ratification may not happen before the election commission issues a final list of presidential candidates, likely later this month. Decisions of the election commission are binding and cannot be appealed.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest bloc in Parliament, has called on Egyptians to stage protests Friday against the candidacy of Suleiman the man who for two decades was the master spy of Mubarak regime, before being promoted to the post of vice-president.

The law also bans anyone who has also served as Prime Minister during the ten years preceding the fall of Hosni Mubarak (on February 11, 2011), from contesting the presidential elections.

This clause will affect another candidate, Ahmed Shafiq, the former air force commander, who took over the government during the uprising of January 2011.

The new law does not apply to former ministers like Amr Moussa, who has long headed the Egyptian foreign ministry before becoming Secretary General of the Arab League. The first round of presidential elections is scheduled on 23 and 24 May.

The Islamist-dominated Egyptian parliament on Thursday passed a law banning top officials who served under Hosni Mubarak from becoming president, legislation that would prevent former Vice President Omar Suleiman from running if the measures is approved by Egypt's ruling military.

Source: The Africa News.Net