Egypt to see new presdient 'within 10 weeks'

"I can say with certainty that within two and a half months, Egypt will have an elected president to whom I will transfer authority," Mansour told flagship state daily Al-Ahram.

Egypt to see new presdient 'within 10 weeks'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Egypt will see a new elected president by June of this year, interim President Adly Mansour announced Friday.

"I can say with certainty that within two and a half months, Egypt will have an elected president to whom I will transfer authority," Mansour told flagship state daily Al-Ahram.

With exact dates yet to be set, presidential polls will be the second phase of an army-imposed transitional roadmap unveiled following last summer's ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president.

Mansour defended his recent decision to immunize Egypt's electoral commission from judicial challenge – a move that has drawn criticism from several political figures and legal expert – as it effectively puts all the commission's decision beyond appeal.

"Subjecting the commission's decisions to appeal would threaten the country's stability," Mansour insisted. "Appeals can drag on in court for over six months and the country's current circumstances can't handle that."

Mansour went on to say he had met with young breakaway members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group, which the interim government declared a "terrorist group" last December.

"It is necessary that we guide these [Brotherhood] youths and teach them the true meaning of patriotism," Mansour said.

The government accuses the Brotherhood and its Islamist allies of carrying out a string of deadly bombings in recent months in retaliation for Morsi's ouster last summer.

The Islamist group, for its part, denies having any role in the attacks.

Mansour also expressed hope for the improvement of Egypt's battered economy, pointing to some $12 billion worth of assistance pledged by a handful of wealthy Gulf States.

"The economy will be in better shape with support from our brothers in Saudi Arabia, the [United Arab] Emirates and Kuwait," asserted Mansour.

Along with steeling the electoral commission against judicial challenge, Egypt's new elections law also stipulates that anyone who has been indicted for a criminal offense cannot vie for the presidency.

It also requires would-be candidates to be at least 40 years old, to hold a university degree and to have two Egyptian parents.

The law also demands that presidential contenders first obtain 25,000 citizens' signatures from 15 different Egyptian provinces in support of their candidacies.

2 presidential hopefuls reject Egypt's new election law

The campaigns of two Egyptian presidential hopefuls have voiced their rejection of a recently-approved presidential elections law, saying they want guarantees that polls will be free and transparent.

The new law, approved Saturday by interim President Adly Mansour, makes all decisions by Egypt's electoral commission immune from judicial challenge – a clause that has received considerable criticism by activists and legal experts.

Campaigners for leftist activists Hamdeen Sabbahi and Khaled Ali – both of whom vied in 2012 presidential elections – expressed concern over the transparency of the electoral process following the decision to steel the electoral commission against judicial challenge – which had also been the case during 2012 presidential polls held under Egypt's then-ruling Supreme Military Council.

"The new elections law in its current format sends a negative signal about the electoral process," Wahid Abdel-Meguid, spokesman for the Sabbahi campaign, told Anadolu Agency.

"The electoral commission must provide serious guarantees of transparency and fairness with regards to campaign fund limits while securing the ballot boxes," he said.

"The commission must also provide serious electoral monitoring to ensure the ballot boxes aren't tampered with," Abdel-Maguid added.

Abdel-Meguid also calls for state institutions to stand equidistant from all candidates – a particularly acute concern given widespread expectations that army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi would announce his own presidential bid.

Adel Wassily, coordinator for Ali's presidential campaign, voiced similar sentiments.

"The new presidential elections law is a legal and political scandal," Wassily told AA. "The immunization of the electoral commission [from judicial appeal] is unacceptable under any circumstances."

"We are also waiting on regulations on campaign funding and time limits," he added, stressing that the electoral commission also must provide guarantees against the use of religious institutions for campaigning.

Commission members are expected to announce new electoral regulations – and, finally, dates for the polls – within days.

The new elections law also stipulates that anyone who has been indicted for a criminal offense cannot contest the presidential elections.

It also requires would-be candidates to be at least 40 years old, to hold a university degree and to have two Egyptian parents.

The law also demands that contenders first obtain 25,000 citizens' signatures from 15 different Egyptian provinces in support of their candidacy.

The new legislation does not, however, provide any dates for the upcoming poll.

Last Mod: 15 Mart 2014, 10:19
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