The electoral commission in Egypt yesterday removed 10 presidential candidates from the race for the country’s top office. Among the drop-outs former vice president, former Muslim Brotherhood’s deputy leader Khairat al-Shatir, Hazem Abu Ismail and the leader of the Ghad Party, Ayman Nour, Al-Jazeera reports.
"The commission rejected all appeals presented by the 10 candidates among 23 who applied to stand in the election scheduled for next month," said the official MENA news agency.
Al-Shater, a wealthy businessman, was dismissed because of a law stipulating that anyone who has been sentenced to prison must wait six years from the end of his sentence before gaining back his civil rights. Al-Shater was imprisoned until March 2011.
However, the Muslim Brothers had anticipated the decision by introducing an "alternative" candidate, the head of their party, the Party for Freedom and Justice (PLJ), Mohammed Morsi.
Omar Suleiman, a former intelligence chief and briefly vice president of Mubarak, was disqualified because he failed to obtain the minimum number of voter signatures in one of the 15 governorates as required by law.
According to the Egyptian daily Al Akhbar, 30,000 signatures were required for any candidate to enter the presidential poll, but Omar Suleiman was accompanied by 72,000 voters' signatures collected in one day, that was recorded a few hours before the registration deadline.
Egypt’s elections commission source on Sunday told Egyptian daily Ahram Online that approximately half of Suleiman’'s signature petitions had been forged, Al-arabiya news reported.
Hazem Abu Ismail the Salafist can not be a candidate because his mother was granted a U.S. citizenship. The electoral law stipulates that a candidate for the presidency should only be Egyptian, as well as his parents and his wife.
Ayman Nour, who ran against Mubarak in 2005, for the same reasons that keeps al-Shater out of the race.
Supporters of Abu Ismail camped outside the commission’s headquarters to protest against the removal of their leader. When the rejection was announced Tuesday evening, some of them threw stones at security and briefly scuffled with military police, Al-arabiya news reported.