Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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March 4, 2014

Egypt: El-Sissi gives sign of presidential run

(Continued)

The law governing the upcoming presidential vote was given on Tuesday to the Cabinet for consultations, after which it will be given to interim President Adly Mansour to issue.

Ali Awad, the president legal adviser, said that one article in the new law provides that if only one candidate runs, the vote will be a referendum on the candidate. Another article would allow for the results of the voting to be appealed if a complaint is filed within a week of their announcement. Awad said the articles will still be debated by the Cabinet.

If confirmed, the one-candidate vote would be a throwback to the era of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, who for most of his rule was repeatedly re-elected in one-man yes-no referendums. He stood in a multicandidate vote once, in 2005, and was ousted in the 2011 popular uprising.

Meanwhile, a court on Tuesday banned all activities in Egypt of the Palestinian militant group Hamas and ordered the closure of any Hamas offices.

Hamas, which rules the neighboring Gaza Strip, is the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood. Authorities accuse Hamas, in cooperation with the Brotherhood, of training and arming the al-Qaida inspired group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has carried out a string of bombings and attacks on police and the military. The Brotherhood and Hamas both deny the accusation.

In Gaza, senior Hamas official Izzat Rishq condemned Tuesday's ruling, calling it a "political decision" directed against the Palestinian people and their resistance. His comments came in a statement sent by email.

On his Facebook page, Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk wrote that the group has no affiliates in Egypt and all its past meetings or visits in Egypt were carried out with the knowledge of Egypt's general intelligence agency.

Tuesday's ruling by the Court of Urgent Matters was the result of a case brought by an Egyptian lawyer seeking a verdict branding Hamas a terrorist organization. The ruling did not directly declare the group a terrorist organization.

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Associated Press reporters Sarah El Deeb in Cairo and Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City contributed to this report.

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