Ah, the rule of (Sharia) law.
Via CNS News:
Egypt’s convoluted presidential election campaign became even more muddled at the weekend with an official electoral body’s decision to disqualify 10 out of 23 candidates, including three tipped as strong possibilities to win.
The move brings further uncertainty over the future of the Arab world’s most populous country, a longstanding ally of the United States and the first Arab state to make peace – albeit grudgingly – with Israel.
Supporters are in an uproar over the decision to bar Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater, ultra-conservative Salafist Hazem Abu Ismail, and former Mubarak regime spy chief Omar Suleiman.
The electoral commission disqualified Shater – generally assumed to be the frontrunner given the Brotherhood’s popularity and resources – because he has a Mubarak-era criminal conviction.
Ismail was ruled ineligible because his late mother held dual Egyptian-U.S. citizenship, and Suleiman was disqualified on the grounds he did not meet the requirement for signatures endorsing his bid. All three campaigns said they would challenge the rulings within the 48-hour window available to do so.
CNS also seems to be picking up on a dynamic we highlighted earlier this month; it involves the candidacy of a former Muslim Brotherhood member:
The trio’s forced departure from the race leaves Mubarak regime holdover Moussa as the strongest obvious candidate among the remaining 13, although where the newly freed-up support will go remains unclear.
One likely beneficiary is Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, an Islamist who left the Muslim Brotherhood when he joined the contest since the Brotherhood at that time said it was not participating.
Again, Yusuf al-Qaradaw has endorsed Fotouh. Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed Muslim Brotherhood candidates are behaving like very squeaky wheels as Fotouh flies under the radar.
What no one seems to be hitting on are the reports that Fotouh allegedly has dual citizenship as well (with Qatar), which is what has disqualified Ismail. If Fotouh is a citizen of Qatar, he too would be disqualified.