Egypt lets Mubarak's PM back in presidential race

CAIRO Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:51pm EDT

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CAIRO (Reuters) - The last prime minister to serve under deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been allowed to re-enter the race for the presidency, one day after electoral authorities disqualified him, the state news agency reported on Wednesday.

"The presidential electoral committee headed by Farouk Soltan accepts the appeal of former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, allowing him to contest the presidential race," MENA reported.

Shafiq was disqualified on Tuesday after the ruling military council approved a new law drawn up by the Islamist-dominated parliament denying political rights to anyone who served as president, vice president or prime minister in the decade prior to Mubarak's fall in February last year.

"The decision to accept my client's appeal proves that the electoral committee functions as an independent body according to the rule of law," Shafiq's lawyer, Shawqi Sayyid, said.

The electoral committee also decided to refer the new law to the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine whether the law was constitutional or not.

Presidential elections are set for May 23 and 24 with a run off scheduled in June.

(Writing by Marwa Awad; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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