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Punishment of politically corrupt sought in Egypt.

Summary: CAIRO - A top judge, who heads Egypt's Higher Electoral Commission, said on Saturday that he started the process of preparing the nation for the parliamentary elections, which would be held next November.

There actually is an anti-graft bill, which was issued in 1952 (and amended in 1953), that could be activated to bring those corrupt officials to justice.

This law was intended to punish any minister or statesman who committed corruption in official life.

Accordingly, any public employee, minister or member of parliament or local councils committing an act intended to impair rule or political life, violate laws, abuse power, or obtain privilege or interest for themselves or others infringing the working rules could be accused of treachery. It also applies to anyone behaving in a way to influence the work of the judiciary.

This law was issued following the July 23 revolution with the aim of trying former corrupt officials. It should be liable for enforcement today to cleanse political life of the corrupt persons that demolished the party system and curbed democratic development in Egypt, according to many legislators.

"It is noticeable that the procedures taken by the ruling authorities after the toppling of the Mubarak regime were intended to limit investigation to the abuse of power, corruption, waste and looting of public funds. No one considered questioning the former officials topmost ex-president Mubarak for political corruption," said Mohamed Hamed el-Gamal, the former chairman of the State Council.

In an interview with Al-Messa'iya evening newspaper, the senior judge expressed his view that Mubarak and members of his regime should be questioned over fraudulence in parliamentary and municipality elections, as well as for amending the constitution to ease the transfer of rule from Mubarak senior to Mubarak junior.

El-Gamal also believes that Mubarak should be punished for breaking his oath to protect the republican nature of the Egyptian regime.

"Unfortunately, until now no one considered forming a graft court for questioning those officials for their crimes, despite the presence of this anti-graft law that should deter any one committing political corruption in the country."

Agreeing with this opinion, the founder and chairman of Al-Wassat (middle) political party, Abul Ela Madi asks for the activation of this law so as to exclude all those who played a role in corruption, whether financial or political.

"Obtaining final rulings against those persons would be followed by their inclusion in a published list of those to be deprived of working in politics from political work for some five years at least."

Meanwhile, Abdullah al-Ash'al, a possible presidential candidate, disagrees with the idea of utilising this law that was created following the 1952 revolution with the aim of penalising symbols of the former regime.

"Graft courts were formed by the military men to punish those who had taken advantage of their authority for personal interest at the cost of the public's welfare. Most of the rulings were intended to avenge some persons and they included many defects.

"There is a major difference between the revolution launched by the army in 1952 and the one effected by the people in 2011 with some democratic goals. Herein emerges the need for new legislation, other than that of 1952, for purging the country of corrupt figures and protecting the revolution."

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Publication:The Egyptian Gazette (Cairo, Egypt)
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Jul 23, 2011
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