Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud, the Muslim Brotherhood's lawyer, said that he would submit a grievance, according to relevant procedures. He has a 48-hour window to lodge an appeal against disqualification and exclusion from the presidential race.
That appeal should then be settled within 24 hours. The Brotherhood’s lawyer stressed that the Elections Commission's decision to exclude Khairat Al-Shater from running for president is not in compliance with the letter, spirit or intent of applicable laws, nor the rules established by the Commission itself, referring to the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC).
Abdel-Maksoud explained that “The Commission’s work is getting more and more confused, foggy and convoluted. If the work of any institution or authority gets so chaotic, I fear, we should expect the most egregious decisions”.
In a phone call to ‘Hayat’ satellite TV channel, Abdel-Maksoud said that SPEC was legally supposed to announce on Friday who had been excluded; but it did not do so. He added, “Instead, we were shocked and dismayed to receive a letter through the mail today notifying us that Khairat Al-Shater had been excluded at midday, 14th of April 2012.
“In two lines in its notification letter, SPEC stated ‘You have been excluded from the first list of presidential candidates due to your conviction of the crime in Case No. 2 of 2007 Military Offenses’.”
For his part, Abdel-Maksoud said that he has already submitted a petition to SPEC to explain the legal status, the judicial perspective, ample established precedents, and applicable constitutional principles regarding the pardon that was issued for Al-Shater, according to Articles 74 and 75 of the Penal Code.
By law, that pardon does not require separate exoneration. Abdel-Maksoud pointed that Al-Shater was legally exonerated on the 13th of March 2012, while his pardon was issued on the 12th of February 2012.
Moreover, Abdel-Maksoud added that, according to the law, a person requires only one exoneration ruling, which is exactly what happened to Al-Shater; and if the court had seen any legal obstacles to exonerating Al-Shater, it would not have issued the exoneration ruling. He asserted that this ruling quashes the legal bases for the original court-martial verdicts.
Further, Abdel-Maksoud pointed out that there is an alarming issue involving the 5-member SPEC which comprises five senior judges who evidently never worked under pressure. Very early in the day, they summarily ended their deliberations and left SPEC headquarters, as widely reported.
Wondering what SPEC’s five judges will do when the final result is to be announced, Abdel-Maksoud suggested that certainly they will not announce the results. He underscored the need for SPEC judges to get used to working under this kind of pressure, so as not to violate the rules approved by SPEC itself on the grounds that there is pressure on them.
Furthermore, Abdel-Maksoud pointed that what SPEC is doing does not comply with the true letter of law nor the true spirit and intent of the rules and regulations established by SPEC itself. He explained that SPEC is beginning to act erratically in matters pertaining to rights of individuals guaranteed to them by law.
He emphasized that SPEC must apply relevant laws to all presidential candidates without exception.