Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder] announced on Monday that they will soon ratify a law that bans anyone found guilty of corruption from participating in politics. Egypt's deputy prime minister for political development Ali al-Selmi said that the law would apply to officials who are found guilty of financial crimes and abuse of power including officials elected to parliament [Reuters report]. Officials believe the law will help to prevent members of the National Democratic Party (NDP) [backgrounder], the now defunct party of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile], from being elected to parliament. Elections for the lower house of parliament are set to begin on November 28.
The SCAF has recently passed a number of new laws and amended preexisting laws. Last month, the SCAF issued a decree banning discrimination [JURIST report] on the basis of race, gender or religion. The SCAF article, Law Decree No. 125 / 2011, amended Criminal Law provisions first passed in 1937. The new article imposes heavy penalties, amounting to fines of up to EGP 100,000 (USD $16,778) and a prison sentence of up to three months, on civil servants who discriminate against citizens in ways that threaten social justice or equal opportunity or disturb the public peace. Earlier that same month, a similar SCAF amendment altered election rules to ban the use of religious slogans [JURIST report] in campaigning. The article is expected to have an immediate effect on the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; JURIST news archive] whose traditional slogan "Islam is the solution" was banned under the new electoral guidelines. However, two days later an Egyptian court overturned a ban [JURIST report] that the formation of the Islamic-based political party Al-Gama'a al-Islamiya [party website].