Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohammed Mursi pledged late Wednesday that the country would “no longer be submissive to the West” if he assumes office after a runoff vote later this month.
Mursi, the frontrunner who won 24.77 percent of the vote in the first round of elections in May and will square off with presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq on June 16-17, vowed there would be “no more injustice or corruption in society,” Egypt Independent reported.
“We shall no longer be submissive to the West,” he said at a rally on the outskirts of Cairo. “For Egyptians have dignity and pride, which I shall preserve if I win.”
He also vowed to provide medicine and equal employment opportunities for all, promising the crowd at a marketplace that he would solve all their problems, “especially having to buy expensive fuel illegally due to the energy crisis, and the difficulties they face in transferring their goods to the market,” the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court announced Wednesday that it will judge on June 14 the constitutionality of the political isolation law that may disqualify Shafiq from the runoff of presidential election, Egyptian media reported.
Although there has been speculation on whether the judgment on the electoral law is valid, if applied, the law could throw the Egyptian election into a whole new scenario.
“Shafiq would be excluded from the race and the election might be repeated with only 12 candidates. Another possibility is that the elections would not be completely repeated, but a runoff would be held between Mursi and Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, who finished third after the first round of voting,” Egypt Independent reported.
The law states that those who served as vice president or prime minister under Mubarak, or held high rank in his National Democratic Party in the decade leading up to his ouster, would not be able to hold public office for a period of ten years.
But the recommendation from the Egyptian judicial body, however, could overturn the electoral law, on the basis that the Presidential Elections Commission’s referral of the Political Isolation Law to the court is “invalid,” the newspaper reported.
“The commissioners say that the PEC is a judicial committee that has an administrative function, as per the Constitutional Declaration. They added that the PEC is not a court, thus cannot be an adversary and judge at the same time vis-a-vis the candidates,” the report stated.
The Political Isolation law was passed in April to bar top Mubarak-era officials such as Shafiq from running for president.
The law was initially drafted in response to a presidential bid by Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s vice president, who the PEC disqualified from the race on different grounds.
The Supreme Constitutional Court is scheduled to hear the case on 14 June, two days before the presidential runoff begins. The court is not obligated to accept the opinion of the commissioners.
“The report of the commissioners of the Supreme Constitutional Court concluded that the provisions of the law of parliament are unconstitutional,” the state MENA news agency said.
“The report also concluded that the law of political isolation (affecting Shafiq) is also unconstitutional since it punishes the individual only on the basis of assuming public office and not evidence of political corruption,” MENA added.
The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court is Mubarak-era appointee Farouk Soltan, who also heads the presidential electoral committee overseeing presidential elections.