CAIRO: Ten candidates for the Egyptian presidency including Hosni Mubarak’s spy chief, a Muslim Brotherhood leader and a Salafi preacher lost appeals against disqualification from the race, two sources on the committee overseeing the vote told Reuters.
“All appeals have been rejected because nothing new was offered in the appeal requests,” a member of the judicial committee told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Another source confirmed that all the appeals had been rejected.
The commission said on Saturday it had disqualified 10 of the 23 candidates who had applied to run in the election, which starts in May and is the climax of the transition from military to civilian rule. Those disqualified had 48 hours to appeal.
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. His blend of hardline Islam and revolutionary zeal has won him an enthusiastic following.
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.
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 the Mubarak administration.
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.
“Mohamed Mursi is our candidate if Shater is excluded,” Mahmoud Ghozlan, the Brotherhood spokesman, said.
Al-Ahram 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, citing an earlier conviction.
The election has a first round of voting on May 23 and 24, and is expected to go to a run-off in June between the top two candidates. The ruling military council is due to hand power to the new president on July 1.
Other leading candidates are Amr Moussa, the ex-Arab League secretary general, and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotoh, who was expelled from the Muslim Brotherhood last year when he defied its orders by deciding to run.