Presidential election draft law unconstitutional, says Egyptian court

The Supreme Constitutional Court on Wednesday declared the draft law submitted by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on the upcoming presidential elections unconstitutional.

The law was to regulate the upcoming elections and set the requirements candidates must fulfill.

According to Egyptian media reports, the SCAF's proposed law includes articles from the controversial Law 174/2005 on the amendment of Article 76 of the 1971 Constitution, which concerns the election of the country’s president.

The Egyptian constitution underwent historic amendments in 2005 and 34 articles were put up for a national referendum in 2007. The amendments aimed to ensure that power remained in the grip of the now dissolved National Democratic Party.

According to the state-owned Middle East News Agency on Wednesday, the court said a number of articles from Law 174/2005 on presidential elections did not conform with the provisions of the Interim Constitution issued on 30 March 2011. The court said the new draft law includes a reference to Law 174/2005 on the amendments made to the 1971 Constitution but the Interim Constitution had disabled the 1971 Constitution.

The court called for the draft law to be reviewed and for any articles that contradict with the Constitutional Declaration or any contradictions within the draft law itself to be removed.

A source within the government told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Tuesday that the SCAF referred its draft law to the Supreme Constitutional Court to review.

The source expected a SCAF decree announcing the law on Sunday, to precede the first session of the parliament on 23 January.

On 15 December, the SCAF announced it had prepared a draft law to regulate the presidential elections, which are scheduled to be held before the end of June, and on 4 January the cabinet approved the proposed law.

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