Christian Science Monitor gets around to Egypt’s disqualified Presidential candidates

We actually wrote about this dynamic back on April 6th and the Christian Science Monitor has finally written about it. In short, as we suspected, the Salafist candidate – Hazem Salah Abu Ismail – is disqualified because of his mother’s U.S. citizenship and Muslim Brotherhood candidate – Khairat al-Shater – has been ruled ineligible because of his multiple prison appearances.

Via CSM:

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the Salafi, was disqualified because his mother held US citizenship, the state news agency reported, confirming previous reports fiercely denied by the Islamist, who says he is the victim of a plot.

Abu Ismail’s lawyer, Nizar Ghorab, told Reuters he expected “a major crisis” in the next few hours.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater was also among those disqualified on Saturday. His spokesman said he would challenge the decision.

Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s intelligence chief and vice president in his last days in power, would also appeal, his spokesman said.

The elimination of three of the top candidates in what is being billed a Egypt’s first real presidential vote would redraw the electoral map just a few weeks before the vote gets under way in May. The election is expected to go to a June runoff between the top two candidates.

Other front-runners include Amr Moussa, a former Arab League secretary-general and Egyptian foreign minister, and Abdul Moneim Abol Fotouh, who was expelled from the Brotherhood last year when he decided to mount his own presidential campaign.

As we wrote last month, there appears to be an issue with Fotouh’s citizenship as well; he reportedly is a citizen of Qatar. Top Brotherhood scholar – Yusuf al-Qaradawi – has already endorsed Fotouh.

Via Ahram Online:

Qaradawi went on to criticise the Brotherhood’s decision to expel members who failed to follow the Guidance Bureau’s directions regarding the presidential contest, in a veiled reference to former leading Brotherhood member and current presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh and his supporters. Abul-Fotouh was expelled from the group in the wake of last year’s Tahrir Square uprising when he insisted on making a bid for the presidency despite the group’s policy of not fielding a candidate.

“Those who were expelled from the Brotherhood for not following the leadership’s orders should be allowed back into the group,” Qaradawi asserted in his open letter.

The Brotherhood has been taking a lot of heat for putting up a candidate for the presidency. A Fotouh nomination takes a bit of that heat off because of his expulsion. Let’s go back to CSM’s report:

Anticipating Shater’s disqualification, the Brotherhood had nominated Mohamed Mursi, head of its political party, as a reserve candidate.

“We will not give up our right to enter the presidential race,” said Murad Muhammed Ali, Shater’s campaign manager.

“There is an attempt by the old Mubarak regime to hijack the last stage of this transitional period and reproduce the old system of governance.”

Again, the squawking coming from the Brotherhood about nominating a candidate for presidential office does take attention off Fotouh, who comes across as less of a firebrand and, go figure, he’s also not with the Muslim Brotherhood anymore – though he IS endorsed by its top scholar.

Though there’s not enough evidence to unequivocally say that Qaradawi is practicing Muruna, these are interesting circumstances.

If Fotouh is a citizen of Qatar – in addition to Egypt – that should disqualify him too.

h/t Ben Barrack


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