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Egypt high court lacks authority to rule on presidential candidate ban

The Egyptian Constitutional Court [official website, Arabic] announced Saturday that it cannot rule on an act of parliament that banned certain candidates from the upcoming presidential elections [IFES election guide]. The court said that it is only able to rule on the constitutionality of a law [AFP report] after it has taken effect. The law in question was passed last week [JURIST report] and prevents anyone who held a rank of party leader or higher during the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] from running for president for ten years. If the law is allowed to stand it could prevent Mubarak's former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq from running. This would leave Amr Mussa, Mubarak's foreign minister until 2001, and Mohammed Mursi, from the Muslim Brotherhood [party website], as the top candidates in the race, which is scheduled to be held next month.

Egypt has been in the process of restructuring its government since protests led to the resignation of Mubarak last year [JURIST report]. Earlier this month, an Egyptian court ordered suspension of a constitutional panel [JURIST report], which consisted of about 100 people, charged with writing the country's new constitution because Egyptian lawyers alleged its members were not chosen constitutionally. Egypt is also in the process of trying Mubarak for assisting in the killing of protesters last year. His trial ended last month and a judge has set the verdict date [JURIST reports] for June 2.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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