Egypt parliament approves constitutional amendment for multi-candidate elections

[JURIST] Egypt's upper house of parliament Sunday approved an amendment to the Egyptian Constitution [text] setting regulations for Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential election despite fear in some quarters that the guidelines would exclude serious contenders from running. Egyptians have typically cast a confidence vote to approve a presidential candidate selected by Parliament, but Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak [official profile] called for multi-candidate elections [JURIST report] earlier this year. The regulations, which specify that a presidential candidate must either be a member of an official political party or, if independent, get a minimum of 65 recommendations from elected members of the lower house, 25 from the Shura council and 10 from local councils from at least 14 governorates, are expected to pass the lower house Tuesday. Opposition groups contend that the guidelines make it nearly impossible for any serious candidates to get approved by the elected bodies, which are dominated by Mubarak's party members. An Egypt-based Islamic opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood [backgrounder], has already protested the new regulations, which it believes will restrict candidates like jailed Islamic militant Essam el-Erian [Al Ahram profile/interview] from running in the election [JURIST report]. AP has more.

 

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