Egyptian parliamentary candidates rejected for drug use

Cairo, Sep 22 (IANS) Egypt’s High Elections Committee (HEC) has announced that many of those hoping to run in next month’s parliamentary elections were rejected because they tested positive to drug use, the media reported.

The HEC — a seven-member judicial body in charge of supervising Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections — announced on Monday that of the 5,955 individuals who applied between September 1-12, 535 had their applications rejected, Al Ahram news reported.

Besides testing positive for drug use, many also failed to provide necessary documents including proof of military service, proof of clean criminal records, statements about personal wealth and proof they had not received money and donations for campaigning.

“This represents nine percent of the total number of candidates who had applied,” HEC spokesman Omar Marwan said.

The HEC spokesman, said majority of the rejections were due to candidates failing obligatory medical tests by testing positive for illegal drug use.

This was confirmed by Deputy Health Minister Nassif Al-Hefnawy who announced that medical labs conducting health tests for prospective candidates found many of them testing positive for drugs like cannabis (active in hashish), opium, opioids and cocaine. Many were also found to be alcoholic, even though this condition is not testable in a medical lab.

Figures released by the HEC showed that eleven hopefuls in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya, 27 in Daqahliyaa governorate, four in Damietta governorate, six in Menoufiya, one in Giza, six in the Upper Egypt governorate of Qena, one in South Sinai, seven in Alexandria and four in Luxor tested positive and were rejected.

According to Egyptian laws, potential parliamentary candidates must undergo rigorous medical tests to check their psychological well-being and physical fitness.

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