Parliamentary elections will be held on time, as the first phase is set to take place on 17, 18 and 19 October, according to the official spokesperson of the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC), Omar Marwan.
“Despite the recent court decision regarding the medical test requirement of parliamentary candidates, SEC has managed to reschedule other procedures related to candidature application in a manner that would not affect election dates,” Marwan said in a press briefing on Thursday.
Elections were supposed to be held last March before a postponement by the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) which had said the parliamentary laws were unconstitutional. As SEC had opened doors for candidates to apply, they had undergone required medical tests.
When elections were re-announced, SEC hoped to ease procedures for those who had already applied by keeping their previous applications valid. However, controversy erupted after the High Administrative Court said they needed to run medical tests again.
Politicians grouped under the electoral alliance of “Sahwet Misr” threatened to withdraw from the elections, as the new decision would delay them from the application deadline and add new costs for candidates to bear.
“SEC does not have the authority to appeal court verdicts; it is the State Council’s decision. Moreover, SEC is only an executive power on these matters, and is in charge of adjusting elections’ procedures based on court decisions,” Marwan commented, adding that there is a lack of proper understanding of the commission’s tasks.
He further stated that if candidates were to present objections to medical tests procedures and costs, they should address the Health Ministry. SEC extended the application dates by three days to end on 15 September.
As for Egyptians abroad, Marwan said they could undertake their medical check-up at any hospital acknowledged by the Egyptian embassy in their host countries, but they have to apply for elections in Egypt.
“Egyptian embassies abroad are not concerned with candidates’ applications, as candidates can either come and present them for themselves in Egypt or delegate somebody to do it,” Marwan stated.
The spokesperson stressed upon SEC’s follow up on the electoral process and assured it is a smooth one. The final approved candidates list should be announced on 27 September.