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Egypt Islamist registers for election amid fanfare (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 03/30/12)Source: http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-islamist-registers-election-amid-fanfare-155422806.html;_ylt=AqbNIW6H030soEP2GhMjIzm1qHQA;_ylu=X3oDMTQ5MDludXA0BG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBXb3JsZFNGIE1pZGRsZUVhc3RTU0YEcGtnA2JlYzkzNTM5LWM1ZGMtMzM0Ni04YzJlLTc1ZTE0NjFlNDZlNwRwb3MDMTgEc2Vj AFP} Agence France Presse AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Egyptian Islamist sheikh Hazem Abu Ismail kicked off his candidacy for the presidency on Friday with a large motorcade that headed to the electoral committee headquarters in Cairo.

Witnesses said dozens of vehicles packed with the ultra- conservative´s supporters left a mosque with the statutory 30,000 endorsements from citizens required to register as a candidate.

Outside the mosque, they chanted "Look Obama, Sheikh Hazem is a knowledgeable cleric," referring to US President Barack Obama.

Abu Ismail, who advocates a strict interpretation of Islam similar to the one practised in Saudi Arabia, has become a familiar sight in Cairo, with his posters adorning many cars and micro buses.

The presidential election scheduled for May will mark the beginning of a handover of power by the ruling military to an elected civilian leader, following last year´s popular uprising that overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Abu Ismail will compete with more moderate Islamist candidates as well as former regime figures such as Amr Mussa, an ex-foreign minister who headed the Arab League, and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

Islamists have made big strides since Mubarak´s ouster, winning majorities in elections to both houses of parliament.

The most powerful Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is considering going back on a decision not to field its own candidate for president and may nominate one of its leaders for the race. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 03/30/12)

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