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An official from the High Elections Commission (HEC) on Saturday ruled out generalizing an administrative court ruling barring members of the disbanded National Democratic Party (NDP) from running in the parliamentary elections slated to start on 28 November.
The Mansoura Administrative Court decided on Thursday to ban former NDP members from running for parliamentary seats in Daqahlia Governorate, based on the fact that they ruined social, political and economic life in Egypt.
Now, two weeks ahead of the elections, 19 additional lawsuits have been filed against former NDP members in Mansoura, attempting to also ban them from running in the elections.
Youssry Abdel Kareem, head of the HEC technical office, said “the commission doesn’t have a database of NDP members’ names; moreover, no court ruling can be applied to someone who can't defend himself.”
The Mansoura court ruling hasn’t been received yet by the HEC, according to Abdel Kareem, and it cannot comment on a ruling that it hasn’t yet reviewed. “There’s a possibility that the ruling could be challenged.”
Informed administrative court sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Saturday that further confusion emerged when the Mansoura court issued a different, contradictory ruling. During a Thursday session, the court ruled against excluding Tareq Talaat Mostafa, a former NDP member, from running in the elections in the absence of a constitutionally valid reason, sources said.
The Alexandria Administrative Court also rejected a lawsuit demanding NDP members be excluded from candidate lists, privately owned newspaper Al-Shorouk reported Sunday.
The court clarified that NDP members are citizens who shouldn’t be deprived of their political rights unless they are or have been convicted of a crime.
On Sunday the Mansoura Administrative Court will review the 19 new challenges to NDP nominations in Daqahlia.
Revolutionary youth groups celebrated the Mansoura court ruling Saturday in several governorates. The April 6 Youth Movement, Kefaya and youth wing of the Democratic Front Party described the ruling as historic. Politicians expect it to completely change the electoral map.
Democratic Alliance parties, as well as Islamist parties and groups, welcomed the ruling. Party leaders said it unmasked Prime Minister Essam Sharaf’s government, which has refused to issue political isolation legislation.
Legal expert Yehia al-Gamal said the ruling will not be applied to all members, only those whom lawsuits were filed against. It could also be used as a basis for filing similar lawsuits.
Translated from the Arabic Edition