Egypt refers ban on presidency candidates to court (REUTERS) Reporting by Tamim Elyan and Ali Abdelatti; Editing by Louise Ireland and Tom Perry CAIRO, EGYPT 04/19/12 11:43am EDT)
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(Reuters) - Egypt´s military rulers have asked the constitutional
court to rule on whether top officials from Hosni Mubarak´s era can
run for the presidency, a judicial source said on Thursday, after the
Islamist-dominated parliament passed a law banning them.
Last week´s new law must be passed by the ruling military council to
MPs drafted the legislation in response Mubarak spy chief Omar
Suleiman´s decision to run for the presidency. Suleiman has since
been disqualified on the grounds that he failed to secure enough
voter endorsements to run.
The legislation, if approved, could disqualify former prime minister
Ahmed Shafiq - in power during Mubarak´s last days.
The Supreme Constitutional Court is expected to issue its ruling
within 15 days. A minister in the army-appointed government last week
described the law as "a deviation" that targeted one or two people.
The presidential election starts on May 23 with two days of voting
and is expected to go to a June run-off between the top two
candidates. Front-runners include the Muslim Brotherhood´s Mohamed
Mursi, former member of the Islamist group Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh
and former Arab League chief and Egypt´s foreign minister for a
decade, Amr Moussa.
The legislation, an amendment to the law governing political rights,
covers anyone who served in a list of top positions in government and
the ruling party during Mubarak´s last decade in power. The list does
not include the position of minister, meaning it does not threaten
Activists have called for mass protests on Friday against senior
officials and politicians who served under Mubarak and the military
council´s handling of the 14 months since he was removed from power
by an uprising.
The generals are due to hand power to the new president by July 1 and
have been governing with Mubarak´s presidential powers, giving
parliament limited authority, though the chamber was elected in
Egypt´s most democratic election in six decades. (© Thomson Reuters
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