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Egyptian citizens can no longer contest sale of state assets

At the time when the government of President Abdel-Fattah Al Sisi’s government has been selling Egypt’s assets to Gulf countries in a bid to survive amid the economic crisis, the country’s supreme court ruled that citizens cannot legally challenge any deals made between the state and any other entity.

The Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) rejected over the weekend a lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of a 2014 law regulating state contracts, local media reported.

The case dates back to 2014 when an administrative court heard an appeal brought up by a group of employees of a public sector company against the privatisation of the entity, represented by a renowned leftist lawyer and former presidential hopeful Khaled Ali.

The appellant contested the constitutionality of Law 32 of 2014 ratified by former interim president Adly Mansour.

The law bans anyone other than the contracting parties from challenging sales or investment contracts signed by the state with any entity or investor, including decisions to privatise real estate property.

Vice-president of SCC Mahmoud Ghoneim said in a statement that “the law in question does not restrict the right to litigation. Rather, it regulates this right by defining the eligible categories,” the Al-Ahram Online newspaper reported.

SSC viewed the rather controversial law as necessary to the national economy after it had been going through “a critical” phase that needed “attracting foreign investment and blocking [any factors] undermining confidence in the safety of the economic infrastructure.”

Over the past few years, citizens and lawyers have filed several lawsuits against the Egyptian government, contesting the legality of selling key public assets.

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