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Egypt court rules presidential elections can go forward on schedule

Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court on Saturday overturned the ruling of a lower court that would have postponed the upcoming presidential elections. Last Wednesday, a provincial court in the town of Benha ruled to suspend the elections following alleged administrative errors. The Supreme Administrative Court's decision to overturn clears the way for elections to go forward as scheduled on May 23-24. The court also declared that the Egyptian Constitutional Court [official website, Arabic] can review the legitimacy of a law that was approved by the ruling army [JURIST reports] which banned candidates who had achieved the rank of party leader or higher during the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive]. The ruling allows Ahmed Shafiq, the man who was briefly Mubarak's prime minister at the end of his regime, the ability to remain in the race until that court rules.

Egypt has been in the process of restructuring its government since protests led to the resignation of Mubarak [JURIST report] last year. Last month, an Egyptian court ordered the 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 protestors last year. His trial ended in February, and a judge has set the verdict date [JURIST reports] for June 2.

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