Egypt bars 10 presidential candidates
Egypt’s election commission bars 10 presidential candidates including Kheirat al-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading contender, just weeks before the first polls to choose a leader since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
Among other candidates barred on Saturday from running were Mubarak’s former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Salafist candidate Hazem Abu Ismail.
The Higher Presidential Election Commission listed various technicalities, including previous arrests and lack of sufficient voter signatures, for barring the candidates and declared they had 48 hours to appeal, the Financial Times reported.
The commission is composed of a panel of judges appointed by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
Other leading candidates still in the running include Amr Moussa, the former head of the Arab League and Ahmad Shafik, a former prime minister under Mubarak.
Shater and Suleiman immediately vowed to challenge the ruling, though the Brotherhood already has a back-up candidate, party no. 2 Mohammed Morsi, in the running.
“The issue is not who will run,” Shater said in a statement posted to the Brotherhood’s official website. “What matters is safeguarding freedoms and the continuation of the revolution.”
Presidential elections are due to be held May 23 and 24, with a possible run-off on June 16 and 17.