The Egyptian parliament on Thursday passed a bill preventing those who were high officials under former president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] from running for president. The law bars candidacy for 10 years [AP report] for anyone who held a rank of party leader or higher during Mubarak's tenure as president. The law must still be ratified by the country's military council, which has been filling the role of the president since Mubarak left office last year. The bill was the parliament's response to an announcement by Mubarak vice president and spy chief Omar Suleiman [BBC News profile] that he was going to run for president. It remains to be seen whether the law will be ratified before the election commission issues the final list of presidential candidates at the end of this month. The presidential election will take place on May 23 [IFES election guide] and will be Egypt's first presidential election since Mubarak stepped down [JURIST report] in February of last year.
Egypt has been in the process of restructuring its government since protests led to the Mubarak's resignation last year. Earlier this week, an Egyptian court ordered suspension of a constitutional panel [JURIST report], which consisted of about 100 people, charged with writing the country's new constitution. The panel was suspended pursuant to a challenge by Egyptian lawyers that its members were not chosen constitutionally. Egypt is also in the process of trying Mubarak for assisting in the killing of protesters last year. His trial ended last month, and a judge has set the verdict date [JURIST reports] for June 2.