Supreme Constitutional Court has not set a date to consider political isolation law, says official

Maher al-Beheiry, senior vice president of the Supreme Constitutional Court, said on Monday that the court has not yet set a date to decide on the amendments that were introduced to the political rights law, also known as the political isolation law.

Beheiry told Al-Masry Al-Youm that neither he nor Farouk Sultan, the president of the court, would be involved in reviewing the amendments, as they are members of the Presidential Elections Commission that has referred the amendments to the court.

“When the court commissioners give their legal opinion, the court will set a date,” he explained.

He added that the verdict may be issued before the presidential election runoff, in which Freedom and Justice Party candidate Mohamed Morsy is competing against Ahmed Shafiq. As the last prime minister under Mubarak, Shafiq would be disqualified if the court approves the amendments.

However, other judicial sources, including Shafiq’s lawyer who has challenged the proposal, said it is impossible that a verdict would be issued before voting, as the commissioners would not prepare their report before 13 June. The runoff is slated for 16 and 17 June.

The amendments to the law on the exercise of political rights, which were approved by Parliament and later by the ruling military council, strip political rights from anyone who served as vice president or prime minister under Mubarak during the 10-year period before he resigned on 11 February 2011. This also applies to anyone who served as president or secretary general of Mubarak's now-dissolved National Democratic Party, or as members in its general or policy secretariats.

When the bill was approved by the military council in April, the elections commission excluded Shafiq from the presidential election, but then accepted his appeal against the decision and reinstated him in the race the following Wednesday.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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