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Egypt presidential candidate promises end to emergency law

[JURIST] Noaman Gomaa, a law professor who is one of two top challengers to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [Wikipedia profile] in Egypt's upcoming September elections [JURIST report], promised Sunday to repeal Egypt's controversial emergency law [EOHR backgrounder] and release political prisoners if elected. The law was passed in 1981 after the assassination of Anwar Sadat and has drawn complaints from rights groups and citizens that they are abused to limit political freedom. However, Gomaa stopped short of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood [backgrounder], a banned group that has had a problematic relationship with authorities [JURIST report]. Gomaa instead backed the current government policy towards the group by requiring them to either support independent candidates or ally themselves with another party rather than stand in elections. Its independent candidates have won 15 seats in the 454-member parliament. AP has more.

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