Egyptian presidential hopeful Sabbahi criticizes new election law

Published March 9th, 2014 - 07:10 GMT

Egyptian left-wing presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi expressed his discontent with a new law issued on Saturday, aimed at regulating the country’s upcoming presidential elections.

“The law, which came out unjustifiably late, has rendered immune the decisions of the Presidential Elections Commission,” a statement issued by Sabbahi’s official campaign read, according to the Egyptian daily news websiteAl-Ahram.

“It is a worrying matter and stirs doubts regarding the transparency and seriousness of the electoral process,” the statement added.

The new regulation, which was approved by interim President Adly Mansour, protects decisions of the elections commission from legal challenges, a contentious issue on which two of Egypt's top courts had staked opposing positions.

The newly approved law comes in opposition with Article 7 of the Egyptian constitution, as it bans appeals against the decisions of the elections commission, the statement read. 

Sabbahi is preparing his campaign for the upcoming presidential elections but will review its position depending on the state’s commitment to the transparency of the electoral process.

“The condition for running in any elections is the presence of guarantees for its seriousness, transparency and consistency with global standards,” the statement read.

The statement also called on Mansour to review his decision, the website reported.

The Presidential Elections Commission is expected to meet on Sunday or Monday to start preparations for the upcoming polls.

The election is seen as a major step in a roadmap outlined by the interim authorities after the military deposed Mursi in July.

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi, who finished third in the 2012 elections, was the first to declare his participation in the elections.

Military chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to declare his candidacy soon, and is expected to win if he runs.

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