CAIRO (AP) ― Egypt’s interim president on Saturday issued a much-anticipated decree governing an upcoming presidential election that clears the way for a vote many expect will be won by the country’s military chief.
Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has not yet officially announced he will run for president, but it is a widely expected move. After the interim President Adly Mansour’s legal adviser, Ali Awad, announced the move on state television, the election commission is expected to set the date for the vote in April, opening the door for candidates to run.
The election is a key step in a transition plan laid out by interim authorities in July after the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
The decree protects the elections commission from legal challenges, a contentious position that had been opposed by one of Egypt’s top courts and criticized by potential candidates.
Awad said that Mansour made the decision after reviewing all legal opinions and after the cabinet prepared a draft law. He cited the “nature of the transitional period” and said it was important to prevent delays for both the presidential and subsequent parliamentary election, which according to the constitution must be held no later than the second half of July.
When Morsi was elected in 2012, decisions by the presidential electoral commission were also beyond appeal.