The body overseeing Egypt's presidential election, the Supreme Presidential Election Committee (SPEC) disqualified 10 candidates from the race on Saturday. They include some of the leading candidates, like the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat al-Shater, former spy chief Omar Suleiman and Salafi sheikh Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail. Others are Ayman Nour and Mortada Mansour, 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. The candidates have 48 hours to appeal against the decision.
Abu-Ismail's candidacy has been in doubt since the election commission
said it had received notification from U.S. authorities that his late
mother had an American passport, a status that would disqualify him from
the race. His followers have held demonstations against his possible disqualification in the past. It is not immediately what will happen now. Abu Ismail is the second most popular candidate.
A spokesman for the Shater campaign said their candidate had already
prepared his appeal. Shater's candidacy had been in doubt because of a criminal conviction in the Mubarak-era which was less than six years ago. Ayman Nour, leader of the Ghad al-Thawra Party, was banned under the same rule as the Muslim Brotherhood's Shater.
Hussein Kamal, a top aide to Omar Suleiman, told Reuters that Suleiman would also challenge the commission's 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 Abu el-Fotouh.