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Egypt to ratify anti-graft law

01 November 2011, 17:06

Cairo - Egypt's ruling generals will ratify within days a law barring anyone found guilty of corruption from political life, a senior minister said on Monday, a move to curb the influence of ousted President Hosni Mubarak's former allies.

Wealthy people in Egypt were often members of Mubarak's now defunct National Democratic Party who used their political connections to advance family and business interests.

Egyptians who rose up against Mubarak's three-decade rule in January worry that his associates, some of whom are facing trial for graft and abuse of power, could be re-elected to the new parliament.

Ali al-Selmi, deputy prime minister for political development, said the new law would prosecute officials found guilty of financial crimes and abuse of power.

Even those elected to parliament would not be immune, he said. Voting for the lower house begins on November 28.

"The cabinet and the military council have reached the final stages of ratifying the law," Selmi said. "The law will be passed within days."

But jurist Hesham al-Bastawisy said the decision could be too late to stop remnants of Mubarak's administration from regrouping for the upcoming polls.

Bastawisy and other analysts say former members of Mubarak's party could continue to influence politics through associates working in newly-formed parties.

"The new parliament will undoubtedly have members of Mubarak's NDP but they will not say they belonged to the NDP and will be backed by big Mubarak-era politicians who will not run," he said.

The law was backed by the interim cabinet months ago but the army, which has the final say on new legislation, has not said when the law would come into force.

- Reuters


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