Shafiq hails Supreme Court verdict as start of new era

The Supreme Constitutional Court’s (SCC) ruling that the Political Isolation Law is unconstitutional adds to the legitimacy of the electoral process and proves that the era of politically-motivated laws is over, said presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in a televised press conference on Thursday.

“The era of settling accounts, writing laws that target specific people and using state institutions to achieve private goals is over,” he said.

The SCC issued a verdict on Thursday against the constitutionality of the Political Isolation Law that was passed by Parliament. The law deprives members of the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak from practicing their political rights, including Shafiq, who was Mubarak’s last prime minister.

The court also ruled to annul the Parliamentary Elections Law. This verdict would dissolve the People's Assembly, which is currently dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, which holds 47 percent of the seats.

Shafiq will face the Freedom and Justice Party’s presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsy, in a runoff on 16 and 17 June.

Voters should “decide [through voting] on the destiny of their country” this weekend, said Shafiq. He said that the armed forces and the police will protect the election, which will be subject to local and international supervision to guarantee its fairness.

Shafiq pledged to represent the youth in Parliament by lowering the age of candidacy, and also pledged not to confront opponents or protesters because of their views.

Shafiq also said that he will establish a civilian state based on the rights of citizenship and equality regardless of religion or ethnicity. He also promised a balance between all authorities, including the executive branch of the government that he would lead if elected president. Shafiq said he advocates a government based on experience, a police force that respects human rights, an independent judiciary free from interference by other authorities and a parliament that represents all segments of Egyptian society.

Egypt will enter a new era of national agreement in spite of attacks against him and political campaigns trying to influence voters against him, said Shafiq.

Shafiq thanked those who voted for him in the first round of the election, as well as members of his campaign for the pressures they have endured.

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