The presidential candidate Moussa Mostafa Moussa may not be running in the election over previous convictions and not meeting the education eligibility standards, lawyer Tarek al-Awady told Egypt Today on Thursday.
First appeal to challenge Mousa’s candidacy
Awady came forward to the Supreme Administrative Court to impugn the validity of the candidacy of al-Ghad (Tomorrow) party chairperson Mousa Moustafae Mousa since he has not obtained a certified university or higher education degree, which is a key requirement for candidates running in the presidential election.
A few days earlier, Mousa announced that he obtained a foreign degree which has a value greater than any other degree that can be obtained locally.
In his interview with the well-known anchor Wael el-Ebrashy for Al Ashera Masa’an (10 pm) TV program which airs daily on Dream TV, Mousa said that he holds an MA in architecture from a French university and it has been already certified by the Foreign Ministry.
Awady told Egypt Today that the certificates he obtained was for some courses he had taken in architecture from France in 1981 and got certified by the Foreign Ministry in 2010. “If that certificate amounts to be a proper equivalent of a higher education degree, he definitely would have used it since he obtained it, not 29 years later.”
He also added that the Supreme Administrative will expectedly issue its final decision in this regard within the next 10 days.
“Moreover, al-Ghad’s Mousa is not actually eligible to enjoy his civil rights, given the fact that he has been previously convicted of dishonorable offences, including robbery and the issuance of dud cheques.
Article 12 of the National Election Authority’s law stipulates that any interested party might be able to challenge the Authority’s decisions within 48 hours from the date of the issuance.
While the article does not specify whether the citizens are allowed to legally challenge the NEA’s decisions or only presidential candidates have the right to challenge each other’s candidacy.
The Administrative court, which is empowered with studying the appeals filed against the decisions of the NEA, will reportedly hold a court session to settle the legal dispute, according to media reports.
It is noteworthy that the NEA stopped accepting candidates’ objections of other candidates on Friday at 5:00 a.m. and announced that it has not received objections from any candidates.
The future of the elections if the appeal is accepted
The NEA has already officially announced the official slate for the presidential election, which included the incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and al-Ghad’s Mousa Moustafa.
In light of the appeal presented by al-Awady, Professor of the constitution law Mohamed, Raslan told Egypt Today that according to the current constitution, if there is only one candidate, he must obtain around 5 percent of the eligible votes of the citizens registered in the voters’ base to win.
The potential candidates who announced that they will run in the election were all bowed out, except for the former Military Staff Chief Samy Anan who was kept out of the race by the Armed forces which released a statement regarding his disqualification.
Shortly after, Lawyer Khaled Ali announced his withdrawal decision.
Also, former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik was amongst the prominent potential candidates made public with his intention to run for president in the upcoming 2018 election before he abruptly changed his mind and announced his withdrawal from the race.
On January 26, two days after President Sisi submitted his candidacy papers to the National Election Authority, the President of al-Wafd Party announced his intention to run in the 2018 election before his party came out in unanimous support to President Sisi.
According to the election’s timetable set by the NEA, voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26, on January 8.
Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while Egyptians living abroad will vote between March 16 and 18.