Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Election Comittee upholds ban on 10 Egyptian candidates

The Supreme Presidential Election Committee (SPEC) for the Egyptian presidency uphold its earlier disqualification of ten of the 23 candidates for the presidency, including the three candidates that appealed the decision the SPEC reached on Saturday. A source in the committee told Reuters News Agency Tuesday evening that the appeals of ex-spy chief Omar Suleiman, the popular Salafist lawyer Hazem Abu Ismail and the Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al Shater, had been rejected because nothing new was offered in their requests.
Abu Ismail was ruled out because his mother held US citizenship, the commission said, though he has fiercely denied this and has accused the authorities of conspiring against him. Suleiman, one of Hosni Mubarak's closest aides and his deputy in his last days in power, had been ruled out because he had too few of the voter endorsements candidates are required to present, according to the state news agency Mena.(Al-Ahram Online reported that a source in the SPEC told the paper that approximately half of Suleiman's signature petitions had been forged).
Al-Shater had been disqualified because of a past criminal conviction. Like many other Brotherhood leaders, Al-Shater had spent time behind bars for his association with a group that was officially outlawed under Mubarak. The Muslim Brotherhood said on Tuesday that Mohamed Mursi, the head of the group's political party, will run as its candidate in Egypt's presidential elections if Al-Shater is disqualified.

Egypt Independent reported that the committee also upheld its disqualification of Ayman Nour, a liberal who came a distant second to Mubarak in the 2005 presidential election. Nour, founder of the Ghad Al-Thawra Party, was excluded for having been convicted in 2005 on charges of falsifying party establishment documents.The commission also barred Mortada Mansour and Ahmed Awad al-Saidi from running due to a dispute for the presidency of Egypt National Party, as well as former intelligence officer Mamdouh Qutb, who was running under the Al-Hadara Party, because the party had no representatives in Parliament. Ashraf Baroma was excluded when the commission found out that he had evaded his military service, Ibrahim al-Ghareeb was barred for failing to collect the required endorsements and for carrying American citizenship, and Hossam Khairallah for running under the Egyptian Arab Socialist Party, whose presidency is also contested.

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