A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Law Likely Eliminates Another Major Candidate

Egypt's SCAF has ratified a Parliament-passed Disenfranchisement Law aimed at disqualifying from public office key figures in the Mubarak regime from the past few years. Originally aimed at blocking &lquo;Omar Suleiman, who was subsequently blocked on other grounds, it is likely to have the effect of disqualifying Ahmad Shafiq, the former Air Force Chief and civil aviation head who was also the last Prime Minister of the old regime. Shafiq was once considered a favorite of the military council.

Though many welcomed the disqualification of some of the candidates already blocked, the effect is that, of 23 candidates who appeared to have gathered the requisite amount of support, at least 11 have been disqualified, or nearly half. This seems a bit like the regular rule manipulation of the old regime, which was used to guarantee the "right" people always won. It helps Amr Moussa and Abdel Moneim Abul-Futuh, but it may strike many as a curious approach to democracy.

Of course the assumption that Shafiq will be disqualified may prove wrong. This Presidential election has been a case of making it up as you go along, and is likely to continue so.

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