Egypt passes presidential election law

The step paves the way for Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to announce his presidential bid

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Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour on Saturday has approved a law aimed at regulating the country’s upcoming presidential elections.

Legal adviser Ali Awad said Saturday on state television that with the adoption of the law, the electoral committee can now set a date for the election, expected to be in April.

The new law protects decisions of the elections commission from legal challenges, a contentious issue on which two of Egypt's top courts had staked opposing positions.

It stipulates that presidential candidates be university graduates at least 40 years of age who have completed their military service and have Egyptian parents.

It bans any candidates who have themselves acquired a foreign nationality, or whose parents or spouse have.

It also stipulates that candidates need to secure the signatures of 25,000 voters from 15 provinces to qualify, as well as a setting a $2.8 million (20 million Egyptian pounds) ceiling for campaign spending ahead of the first round of voting and $700,000 (five million pounds) in case of a run-off.

The election is seen as a major step in a roadmap outlined by the interim authorities after the military deposed Mursi in July.

Military chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to declare his candidacy soon, and is expected to win if he runs.

(With AP and AFP)

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