10 Egyptian presidential candidates disqualified


Egypt’s presidential commission announced Saturday that 10 of the 23 presidential hopefuls would be disqualified from the race.

Those barred from running include the popular ultra-conservative Salafist preacher Hazem Abu Ismail ; the Muslim Brotherhood’s top candidate and strategist, Khairat el Shater; and Omar Suleiman, spy chief under former president Hosni Mubarak.

The commission made the decision under siege Saturday, as supporters of Abu Ismail thronged the office demanding that he be allowed to run.

Abu Ismail was disqualified because his mother held both an American and Egyptian passport, according to local media reports. According to law, all presidential candidates, their spouses and parents must hold only Egyptian citizenship.

Suleiman was disqualified because he apparently had not gathered enough signatures in one province. The decision against him will probably be welcomed by revolutionaries, liberal parties and Islamist parties alike who were enraged that one of Mubarak’s cronies had decided to run.

Shater was disqualified because he was previously a political prisoner, though he was pardoned when he was released.

Candidates have 48 hours to file a complaint with the commission to repeal the ban. The commission will release a final list on April 26, which cannot be challenged.

The presidential election — Egypt’s first since Mubarak’s ouster — will begin on May 23.