Egypt Military Confirms Ban on Mubarak Officialsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Egypt's military head of state has upheld a new law barring senior officials from the regime of former strongman Hosni Mubarak of standing for the presidency, state news agency MENA reported on Tuesday.
The decision by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, ratifying an amendment to the political rights law approved by parliament on April 12, means former Mubarak premier Ahmed Shafiq could be barred from standing in the May election.
MENA said Tantawi "ratified the amendments to the law on political rights," which "bars any president, vice president, prime minister or leader or (senior member) of the now-dissolved National Democratic Party from exercising political rights for 10 years."
The electoral commission is due to publish a definitive list of candidates on Thursday, but it is still not clear whether the law will formally take effect before then. If it does not, Shafiq might still be able to run.
However, the law would not exclude Amr Moussa, a front runner who served as Mubarak's foreign minister until 2001 before heading the Arab League, as it extends back only 10 years and does not apply to ex-ministers.
The Islamist-majority parliament hurriedly approved the bill after Mubarak's vice president and spy chief Omar Suleiman said he would run in the election.
Suleiman has since been disqualified, for not gathering enough endorsements from all the country's provinces, along with the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat El-Shater, barred because of a previous military court conviction.
Two prominent remaining candidates are the head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, Mohammed Mursi, and former Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh.
The first round of the presidential election is scheduled for May 23 and 24, and the military, which took over after Mubarak resigned last year, has promised to hand power to the elected president by the end of June.