Washington–In response to Mohamed ElBaradei’s announcement that he may run in the Egyptian presidential elections, Ali Eddin Helal, media secretary of the National Democratic Party said that although ElBaradei has the right to run in the elections, he should not stipulate preconditions for his nomination. "If you choose to get involved in the political process, then you must do so according to the constitution and follow the rules of the game without attaching any preconditions," said Helal at the Arab Global Forum held in Washington DC last week.
"Any citizen, regardless of his educational, cultural or political background has the right to run for the presidency or announce his desire to do so. This is a constitutional and legal right that no one can debate or restrict," said Helal, adding, "Does anyone in the US or another country have the right to demand an amendment to the constitution as a precondition for their nomination?"
Just as ElBaradei has demanded, a nonpartisan election committee is already in place, said Helal. The committee is composed of the head of the Court of Cassation, the president of the Supreme Judicial Council and the head of the Court of Appeal, he clarified. ElBaradei also called for the elections to be supervised by the judiciary and by international observers, a point with which Helal disagrees.
Meanwhile, Mohamed el-Omda, a member of parliament from the Free Constitutional Party, filed a lawsuit that seeks to ensure that every Egyptian citizen, including himself and ElBaradei, has the right to run in the presidential elections. In his complaint, el-Omda argued that Article 76 and the amendments to Article 88 are unconstitutional.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights submitted a memorandum yesterday to the Cabinet of Ministers and the speakers of the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council which called for a change to Amendment 173 of Law 73/1956; and Articles 76 and 77 of the Constitution. The laws and amendments address political rights, participation in the political process and the length of a president’s term in office, respectively.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.