Egypt confirms 10 barred from polls
18 April 2012, 16:52
Cairo - Egypt's electoral commission confirmed on Tuesday that 10
candidates have been barred from running for president, ruling out a
challenge by two Islamists and Hosni Mubarak's ex-spy chief.
commission rejected all appeals presented by the 10" candidates among
23 who applied to stand in the election scheduled for next month, said
the official MENA news agency.
The commission had held a day-long
meeting to hear appeals from disqualified candidates, including former
spy chief Omar Suleiman, the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat el-Shater and
popular Salafist politician Hazem Abu Ismail.
candidates still able to run are former Arab League chief Amr Mussa and
Abdelmoneim Abul Futuh, a one-time member of the powerful Brotherhood.
The electoral commission said Saturday it had rejected the candidacy of the 10 due to irregularities in their applications.
expected in some quarters, the news of the decision threw the
presidential campaign into turmoil as the fate of a new constitution
remains hanging in limbo.
The Muslim Brotherhood had anticipated
the decision by putting up Mohammed Morsi, chairperson of the movement's
Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), as an "alternative" candidate.
who was in jail last year on charges of terrorism and money laundering,
was barred because of a law stating candidates can only run in
elections six years after being released or pardoned.
Brotherhood's Twitter feed quoted Shater as saying "my exclusion from
the presidential race despite sound legal case is a proof Mubarak is
still in power. We shall continue in our peaceful struggle to complete
our unfinished revolution".
Later addressing hundreds of
partisans in Cairo, Shater - a wealthy businessman - called on Egyptians
to "protect the revolution", warning that plans for electoral fraud and
vote-buying were under way.
He promised "to topple the remains of the Mubarak regime".
Suleiman was disqualified because he failed to garner enough endorsements from all 15 provinces as required under the law.
Ismail is out of the race because his mother holds foreign nationality,
violating election rules which state that all candidates, their parents
and their wives must have only Egyptian citizenship.
developments in the presidential campaign further complicate the
transition to democracy after the ouster last year of former president
They come a week after a Cairo court suspended the
Islamist-dominated commission tasked with drafting a new constitution
amid a boycott by liberals, moderate Muslims and the Coptic church.
The panel, which is evenly divided between parliamentarians and public figures, was elected by the parliament.
most of its members were from the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist
fundamentalists who hold the majority in both houses of parliament.
More balanced commission
secular parties had already withdrawn from the commission, believing
their presence was only used as a smoke screen allowing the Islamists to
draft a basic law reflecting their ideologies.
The prestigious Sunni Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, and the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt have also boycotted the panel.
believe the commission should reflect the composition of a parliament
where the FJP holds nearly half the seats and the Salafist Al-Nur party
almost one quarter.
The secularists want a more balanced
commission, fearing the Islamist grip would lead to the strengthening of
a demand for Islamic sharia law to be the point of reference for
In principle, the panel has up to six months to
draft a new constitution to replace the one suspended by the military
when it took power last year.
The election is scheduled for 23
and 24 May, raising fears among many of having to elect a president
whose powers have not been defined.