Egypt Independent

Military approves long-awaited political isolation law



Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has approved a law that allows a political embargo to be placed on Mubarak regime-affiliated figures, who are accused of corrupting political life, state TV said on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Egyptian news reports said Prime Minister Essam Sharaf met with the military council at 12:30 pm to discuss the latest developments in Tahrir Square, where clashes between protesters and security forces have left at least 24 dead and over 1000 injured since Saturday.

Criticisms of the country's military rulers voiced by protesters at Tahrir may have propelled the SCAF to hasten their approval of the long-awaited political isolation law

Last week, the Supreme Administrative Court issued a controversial verdict enabling members of the previously-ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) to run in the upcoming parliament elections, scheduled to start on 28 November, despite objections by political groups

Several news reports had highlighted a huge turnout of former NDP figures for parliament candidacy applications, which authorities received from 12-22 October

On 4 October, the Egyptian government, in response to mounting pressure by revolutionary groups, approved amendments to the 1952 Treachery Law, which denies former NDP members their political rights for five years. But many doubt the interim government's intention to enforce the law. It previously made initial changes to the law in July, also due to political pressure.

Legal experts believe that the law, if applied, would lead to the removal of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, a former NDP member.