21 January 2018
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  • » 04/13/2012, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists bar former Mubarak regime officials



    Parliament passed the bill yesterday but the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces must still approve it. Any prime minister or top official from the Mubarak regime is barred from active politics for ten years. Various presidential candidates could be excluded.

    Cairo (AsiaNews/ Agencies) - Egypt's parliament, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists, has approved a law that would bar members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's party from running for office. Anyone who has served as prime minister or was a senior member of the old regime would be barred from political activity for 10 years.

    Adopted yesterday, the law still needs to be ratified by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), but the Justice Minister has already described it as unconstitutional. 

    The new law comes a few days after Omar Suleiman, a former vice president and intelligence chief under Mubarak announced that he was seeking the presidency in the upcoming elections. In order to attract the support of secular votes, he said he was running to prevent Egypt from becoming an Islamic state. If adopted, the law could jeopardise May's presidential elections.

    Experts say the race is dominated by Islamist parties and former officials in Mubarak's regime and his National Democratic Party, who have come out of the shadow after a year of silence. Pro-democracy parties, which led the Jasmine Revolution, are de facto excluded from the election.

    Out of 23 candidates, only three moderate figures have any chance of challenging the stranglehold of the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists and old Mubarak cronies. They are: Khaled Ali, a lawyer and human rights activist and a former director of the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights, Ayman Abd el Aziz Nour, head of the El-Ghad Party (a liberal secular party) who first challenged Mubarak in the sham 2005 election, and Amr Moussa, a former secretary general of the Arab League and a onetime foreign minister under Mubarak.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is putting forward Khairat and l-Shater, a rich businessman and the party's treasurer who was released from prison in 2011.

    Salafists are presenting Hazem Salah Abu Ismail. A fixture on national TV, he is one of the radical Muslim leaders with the largest followings, especially among young Islamists who recently organised demonstrations across the country against his exclusion from the race on a technicality.

    Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, secretary general of the Arab Medical Association and a former member and supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, is one of the independent candidates.

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    See also

    09/07/2012 EGYPT
    President Morsi reinstates parliament dissolved by military
    Fears are growing of a power struggle between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood. Signed last night, the legality of the presidential decree is questioned. Parliament could meet tomorrow. Marshal Tantawi calls emergency meeting of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

    25/01/2012 EGYPT
    Tahrir Square flooded by people who want to continue the Jasmine Revolution
    Nagui Diamian, a young Catholic Coptic leader, talks about the youth protest a year since the demonstrations that led to the fall of President Mubarak. Thousands have arrived from all over Egypt to demand real change for the country, which is still in the hands of the military. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists try to monopolise the situation following their electoral victory.

    22/11/2011 EGYPT
    Egypt in the eye of the storm. Today the "march of a million" against the Military Council
    The civilian government submits resignation, after police violence in Tahrir Square, but yet to be accepted. The opposition demands that the Supreme Council of the armed forces hands over authority to civilians.

    19/07/2011 EGYPT
    Army slowing reforms to sink revolution
    The economic crisis is killing the ideals of the Arab spring. The military are against democracy, and refuse to hand over former regime officials to the justice system. More than US$ 9.5 billion in aid are still lying unused in state coffers. Sources tell AsiaNews that they fear the rise of a theocratic regime with the tacit agreement of Western nations.

    28/11/2011 EGYPT
    Polls open in Egypt
    Queues at polling stations before dawn, in the first round of elections which will last two days. Overnight explosion targets pipeline that supplies Israel and Jordan. Tug of war over appointment of the Prime Minister chosen by Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.



    Editor's choices

    EGYPT – LEBANON
    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


    CHINA
    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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