Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—An Egyptian court on Tuesday banned members of ousted former president Hosni Mubarak’s outlawed National Democratic Party (NDP) from standing for elections.
The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters ruled that former NDP members are ineligible to run in any presidential, parliamentary or local council elections. The NDP had initially been dissolved in 2011 following Mubarak’s ouster, but the Cairo court ruled that former members will not be allowed to compete in any future elections.
In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, judicial expert Nour Farhat criticized the ruling, saying that such rulings do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Court of Urgent Matters. The court usually hears urgent financial disputes between individuals and has previously been criticized for its rulings outlawing both the April 6 Movement and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Farhat described the court’s ruling against former NDP members as “non-binding,” adding that its previous rulings against the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and April 6 were similarly non-binding.
In contrast, some political activists criticized the ruling’s ambiguity, claiming that it opens the door for some Mubarak-era officials to participate in the elections.
A similar ruling was passed in Egypt under former Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, only to be repealed by the Constitutional Court.
Activists have expressed fears that Mubarak-era figures could dominate the parliamentary elections, whose date will be set following presidential elections taking place on May 26–27.
In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Dr. Shawky El-Sayyed, the legal representative of former presidential contender Ahmed Shafiq, said that “the ruling is contestable,” citing another ruling by the Administrative Court that disbanded the NDP but did not deny its members the right to stand in future elections.
Shawky said: “If the Administrative Court and the Court for Urgent Matters’ rulings clash, the Constitutional Court must settle the case,” he said.