The body overseeing Egypt's presidential election on Wednesday accepted an appeal by former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq against his disqualification as a candidate, allowing him back into the race.
"The presidential electoral committee headed by Farouk Soltan accepts the appeal of former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, allowing him to contest the presidential race," state news agency MENA reported.
"The decision to accept my client's appeal proves that the electoral committee functions as an independent body according to the rule of law," Shafiq's lawyer, Shawqi Sayyid, said.
Shafiq was the last prime minister under autocratic president Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown on February 11, 2011.
He was disqualified on Tuesday after the military council approved a new law denying political rights to anyone who served as president, vice president or prime minister in the decade prior to Mubarak's fall.
The electoral committee also decided to refer the new law to the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine whether the law was constitutional or not.
The commission is due to announce the final list of candidates on Thursday.
Mubarak's former vice-president and spy chief, Omar Suleiman, has also been disqualified for different reasons, along with Khairat al-Shater of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist Hazem Abu Ismail.
The front-runners among those left in the race are considered to be former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, the independent moderate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Mohammed Mursi, the chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
Presidential elections are set for May 23 and 24 with a run off scheduled in June.
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|Timothy V. Gatto|