Saturday, April 14, 2012

Major Egyptian presidential candidates reportedly disqualified

Interesting developments, reported by Egypt Independent:
The Presidential Elections Commission announced on Saturday that 10 presidential candidates are disqualified from the race. The commission said it would release the full list of qualified candidates at a later time.

State-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported that conservative candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, former vice president and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, and official Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat al-Shater, Ghad al-Thawra Party head Ayman Nour had all been disqualified. Also out of the running, it reported, were Ahmed Saidi, Mamdouh Qutb, Ashraf Baroma, and Ibrahim al-Ghareeb.

"The commission has disqualified candidates because they do not fill one or more of the required conditions," the electoral body said in a statement, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted judicial sources as saying, “The most prominent names that have been excluded are Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, General Omar Suleiman, former vice president," in addition to Shater.

Suleiman was reportedly excluded on the basis of the geographical distribution of his signatures of support, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm. A candidate must have 1000 signatures from 15 separate governorates to qualify.

Shater, who was released from prison in March last year, has been barred because of a law that states that candidates can only run in elections six years after being released or pardonned, Tarek Abul Atta, a PEC official, told AFP news agency.

Abu Ismail is out of the race because his mother holds another nationality, violating election rules, he said.

Others who have been disqualified include Ayman Nour, who caught the world's attention when he challenged ousted president Hosni Mubarak in 2005 presidential elections.

Nour was imprisoned shortly after those elections and released on health grounds in 2009. He was banned under the same rule as the Muslim Brotherhood's Shater.

The disqualified candidates have 48 hours to appeal the decision.

If the commission's decision stands, the remaining frontrunners will be former Arab League head Amr Moussa and former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh.
Meanwhile, there was a rally against Suleiman's candidacy. Naturally, the protesters claimed he was Zionist: