Egyptian Parliament Speaker: No Dual-Nationality Candidates Allowed
Egyptian Parliament Speaker Fathi Srour has announced that the recent verdict of the Higher Administrative Court barring dual-nationality candidates from running for Parliament will be universally applied.
The announcement broadens the consequences of the verdict, which was handed down to French-Egyptian MP Rami Lakah alone.
However, “The application of this rule to other MPs with dual nationality depends on the issuance of court verdicts against them,” Surour told the Cairo-based daily Al Ahram, adding that “Parliament will release its final decision this November after the legislative committee issues its report on the higher court’s ruling against Lakah.”
Egyptian judiciary authorities have raised the issue again after the higher court ruling against Lakah, which was based on the MP’s French passport, as well as his exemption from compulsory military service.
Upon the release of ruling, Lakah issued a statement confirming that he would resign from Parliament due to what he described as a “prejudiced” verdict.
He reiterated that the ruling contradicted with the immigration law, the Egyptian Constitution and the UN conventions on human rights.
Lakah added that he had submitted the necessary documents to exempt him from the military service, because he was his family’s sole breadwinner.
Meanwhile, a number of Egyptian legal experts criticized the delay in the immediate implementation of the higher court verdict, saying there was no need to present the matter to Parliament to secure a two-thirds majority, despite standing Egyptian Parliamentary rules.
One member of Parliament with dual nationality asked why their documents were accepted when they ran for office, despite the later decision that they were ineligible.
MP’s Rifat Mutawe, a former American passport-holder, and Mohammed Saleh, who once had German citizenship, confirmed that they had shed their second nationality.
Saleh added that his exemption from the military service was not due to his dual nationality, but rather due to being the sole son in his family, which is justified under Egyptian law.
Meanwhile, rumors have re-emerged about Minister of Housing Ibrahim Suleiman and Minister of Economy Butros Ghali, who have repeatedly claimed to have forfeited their American citizenship.
Some observers have said that the two relinquished their second passport before the parliamentary elections took place.
In this context, it seems that the verdict against Lakah will not be the last one regarding dual nationality holders.
Instead, it appears likely to reopen other files, including the implementation of verdicts against other members of Parliament, some of whom are members of the current Egyptian cabinet - Albawaba.com