Islamic court rules against hereditary presidency

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Egypt’s Dar Al Aftaa, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, has issued a fatwa, or religious edict, stating that the presidency of the country cannot become hereditary.

According to the fatwa, transfer of power in the country must be in accordance with the constitution through direct and secret ballot.

The ruling comes after years of speculation that President Hosni Mubarak is planning on stepping aside to allow his son, Gamal, to take over.

The council, which is headed by pro-government Chief Mufti Ali Gomaa, said “handing the presidency down from father to son in Egypt is prohibited by religious law, because the matter is not connected to the Islamic Khaliphate.”

Opposition activists welcomed the decision, saying it would help increase pressure on Mubarak to hold open and free elections.

Mohamed Qadry Said, a former military General who is now a political analyst at the Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, said the younger Mubarak would win a open election.

“I believe Egyptians would vote for Gamal if there was an opportunity for a free and open election in the country,” he said. Panapress .

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