Salafist candidate may be out from Egypt prez race
The election authority said today that Salafist candidate Sheikh Hazem Abu Ismail could be barred from pursuing his bid for Egypt`s presidency as his mother held a US passport, giving the country`s closely watched presidential race an unexpected turn.
The development came less than a week after, Abu Ismail marched along with thousands of his supporters to the Presidential Elections Commission to file his nomination.
The potential exclusion of the 51-year-old preacher, highly popular among conservative Egyptians, from the race over his mother`s dual citizenship, may turn out to be a favourable development for the Brotherhood`s recently nominated candidate, Khairat al-Shater.
However, it could also provoke an uproar from thousands of his dedicated backers who had pinned their hopes on Abu Ismail to implement `God`s law`.
Abu Ismail`s candidacy application may be turned down as Egyptian law stipulates that a presidential candidate must be born to Egyptian parents who have never held a second nationality.
"He will not be disqualified. Otherwise we will take to the streets in millions," one of his supporters said as some of them planned a march of a million tomorrow to object to his expulsion.
The imminent exclusion of Abu Ismail is expected to enhance the chances of the 62-year-old Brotherhood leader, widely viewed as the group`s most influential member.
Shater has entered the race at the last minute and has very little time to catch up with other nominees` campaigns.