The Egyptian presidential campaigns, the first since the departure of Hosni Mubarak, have seen enough twists and turns to fill a book. 20-two people have submitted nominations so far, AFP reports, six of which were submitted just before the deadline. What’s more, some of them may not even be eligible.The list of nominees includes Islamists, and members of the military and former Mubarak cronies: candidates include the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat el-Shater, former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, ultra-conservative Islamist preacher Hazem Abu Ismail, Ahmed Shafiq (Mubarak’s former prime minister), and Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s spy chief who was nominated by Mubarak as vice president days before he stepped down.
According to election commission regulations, contenders must enjoy the support of at least 30 elected MPs, collect 30,000 citizens’ signatures from at least 15 governorates throughout Egypt, or secure the backing of a political party that holds at least one seat in Parliament. Elections will take place on May 23 and 24, with a run-off on June 16-17.
While Suleiman has downplayed links to the former regime and the military, his candidacy has caused anger and frustration among the media, activists and politicians, who believe it is a “humiliation for the revolution” and an attempt to “reverse the tide of history”.
“The Egyptians did not make their sacrifices just for Mubarak’s vice president to make a return,” the Muslim Brotherhood’s el-Shater told a news conference.
Activists have called for a million-man protest march, a draft resolution forbidding Mubarak regime figures from running for president, and for other candidates to unite on a single ticket to defeat Suleiman, Ahram Online reports.
Currently, opinion polls show Amr Moussa in the lead, with Suleiman fourth, and the Muslim Brotherhood in eighth place, according to Bloomberg.
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