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Egypt's Parliament Votes To Bar Mubarak Era Officials From Contesting Elections

Egypt's Islamists-dominated parliament voted on Thursday to strip the political rights of senior officials in the ousted regime of former President Hosni Mubarak for the next ten years.

Nevertheless, the new law passed by the parliament will come into force only if ratified by the ruling military council. The council came into power last year after Mubarak was ousted by a popular unrest against his decades-long rule in the north African nation.

The new law is mainly aimed at preventing senior figures in the Mubarak regime, including former Vice-President Omar Suleiman and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq from running for the presidential elections due May.

However, the new measure would not prevent ex-foreign minister Amr Moussa from contesting in the forthcoming elections as it does not include former ministers. The new law would apply to only those those who held the office of president, vice-president or prime minister.

Nevertheless, experts believe the military council is likely to block the measure. The country's justice ministry has already deemed the measure as unconstitutional.

Even if the military council decides to ratify the measure against all odds, it is unlikely to be done before the election commission confirms the final list of presidential candidates later this month. Under Egyptian law, the decisions of the election commission cannot be appealed.

Although the new law covers all former senior officials in the Mubarak regime, political analysts believe it is mostly targeted at Omar Suleiman. He was the head of the country's intelligence service for 18 years before taking over as vice-president just before Mubarak resigned.

The developments come over a year after Mubarak was forced to step down from office in February 2011, following mass protests across the country against his 30-year rule. Before stepping down, Mubarak had handed over control of the nation to the military.

by RTT Staff Writer

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